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article imageBlake's 7 actor Paul Darrow has died

By Tim Sandle     Jun 3, 2019 in Entertainment
Paul Darrow, best known for playing anti-hero Avon in the television series Blake's 7, has died at the age of 78 after a short illness. Darrow featured in over 200 television productions.
Actor Paul Darrow (born Paul Valentine Birkby on May, 2 1941) passed away on June 3, 2019. Darrow was primarily a television and stage actor, although he also appeared in several movies such as The Raging Moon (1971) and the James Bond movie Die Another Day (2002). His theater work included being cats as Samuel Vimes in a touring production based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.
Twisting the idea that everyone loves the hero, Paul Darrow rose to fame in the BBC television series Blake's 7, which pulled in over ten million viewers per episode at its peak on U.K. television alone. Darrow played the character Kerr Avon, a computer scientist turned cyber-criminal turned revolutionary across the period 1978 to 1981. For the fist two seasons for the show Darrow played off against the titular character Blake (played by Gareth Thomas), before becoming the lead when Thomas left the show.
Blake's 7 was a dystopian science fiction adventure, focusing on a group of 'freedom fighters' who worked to overthrow the Earth-based Federation. In many ways the show was the antithesis of Star Trek, in that the galactic super-state was the enemy, but those fighting to overthrow it had rather chequered pasts. Taking a different direction to other shows, in the end the Federation appears to win. Shows like Babylon 5 and Dark Matter drew inspiration from the subject matter of Blake's 7.
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Blake's 7 made Darrow famous (as an aside, an extinct crocodile from the Miocene of Australia, Baru darrowi, was named after him), although he never found another role that achieved the same level of public recognition.
With news of Darrow's death, the BBC told The Daily Mirror it was "very sorry to hear" of his passing. Darrow's PA, Maureen Marrs, told The Daily Mail: "Over three decades I have been Paul's confidante and have had the immense privilege of being part of his life. A star has gone out today; the world will be a darker place without him."
In more recent years Darrow resumed playing the character of Avon for the company Big Finish, which produces a range of Doctor Who and Blake's 7 audio adventures, among other cult television programs. Darrow was also a regular at conventions and provided introductions for a local radio station.
More about Blake's 7, Avon, Blake, Scifi
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