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Valentine Dyall

Valentine Dyall as The Black Guardian from Doctor Who
Born 7 May 1908(1908-05-07)
London, England
Died 24 June 1985 (aged 77)
London, England
Years active 1942-1985

Valentine Dyall (7 May 1908 – 24 June 1985) was an English character actor, the son of veteran actor Franklin Dyall. Dyall was especially popular as a voice actor, due to his very distinctive sepulchral voice, he was known for many years as "The Man in Black", narrator of the BBC Radio horror series Appointment With Fear.

In his early career, he appeared in one movie with his father, the spy thriller Yellow Canary, which starred Anna Neagle and Richard Greene. His part was that of a German U-boat commander attempting to kidnap a British agent from a ship in the Atlantic, Franklin Dyall playing the ship's captain. He also played the Duke of Burgundy in Olivier's wartime film of Henry V and had a small role as a German officer in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

Dyall also made guest appearances in several episodes of The Goon Show, parodying his familiar radio persona. Much later he worked in the radio version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy playing Gargravarr, and on the television and LP versions, where he played the voice of the computer Deep Thought.

He played the witch Jethrow Keane in The City of the Dead (1960). He appeared in Robert Wise's 1963 film The Haunting as Mr.Dudley, the sinister caretaker of the haunted Hill House.

Dyall played the central character Lord Fortnum, who turns into a bed-sitting room following a nuclear war, in Spike Milligan and John Antrobus' stage play The Bed-Sitting Room, which opened at the Mermaid Theatre on 31 January 1963.[1][2]

He voiced the character of evil mastermind Dr. Noah in the 1967 James Bond parody Casino Royale and appeared as Lorrimer in the BBC Miss Marple episode The Body in the Library (1984). Dyall also made regular appearances in all three seasons of the series Secret Army as Dr. Pascal Keldermans.

He portrayed the Black Guardian in several Doctor Who serials during 1983-84, and also voiced a major role in the Doctor Who radio serial Slipback. He also played Norl in the episode "City at the Edge of the World" in the series Blake's 7. In 1983 he attended Doctor Who's 20th Anniversary celebrations at Longleat alongside many other cast and crew from the series.

Dyall's last role, in the year of his death, was as Marcade in Love's Labour's Lost, in the BBC Television Shakespeare.

References

  1. ^ Milligan, Spike, & Antrobus, John (1973) The Bedsitting Room, Tandem: London. First published in Great Britain by Margaret & Jack Hobbs, 1970. Published by Universal-Tandem, 1972. © 1970 Spike Milligan and John Antrobus
  2. ^ McCann, Graham (2006). Spike & Co.. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-89809-7.   p.158

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