Bernard Cribbins, actor who delighted British children for decades, dies at 93: NPR

Bernard Cribbins looks on after receiving the annual JM Barrie Award for a lifetime of unforgettable work for children on stage, film, television and recording, at the Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, in London, on November 13, 2014. Cribbins died at an advanced age. 93.

Nicholas T Ansell/PA via AP, File


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Nicholas T Ansell/PA via AP, File


Bernard Cribbins looks on after receiving the annual JM Barrie Award for a lifetime of unforgettable work for children on stage, film, television and recording, at the Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, in London, on November 13, 2014. Cribbins died at an advanced age. 93.

Nicholas T Ansell/PA via AP, File

LONDON — Bernard Cribbins, the beloved British host whose seven-decade career spanned from the raunchy sitcoms “Carry On” to children’s TV and “Doctor Who,” has died. He was 93.

Agent Gavin Barker Associates announced Cribbins’ death Thursday.

It said: “Bernard’s contribution to British entertainment is unquestionable. He was unique and an example of the best of his generation and will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.”

A hot-tempered character actor, Cribbins was present in the childhood of generations of Brits. He played station porter Albert Perks in the 1970 classic The Railway Children and voiced all the characters in The Wombles, a 1970s animated series about a family of burrowing creatures living under the watchful eye of London’s Wimbledon Common.

Cribbins was also the voice of the road safety squirrel Tufty Fluffytail in a series of public information videos and held the record for the most appearances — more than 100 — in the children’s storytelling television series “Jackanory.”

Cribbins was born in 1928 into a poor family in Oldham, North West England.

He moved on to West End productions before appearing in a dizzying array of British films, including the 1960 comedy Two-Way Pull opposite Peter Sellers. 1966 “Doctor Who” spinoff “Daleks’ Invasion of Earth 2150 AD”; James Bond spoof in 1967’s “Casino Royale”; and one of Alfred Hitchcock’s last thrillers, 1972’s Madness.

He appeared in several films in the “Carry On” series, was a memorable guest star in the classic sitcom “Fawlty Towers” and scored top 10 hits with the comedy songs “Hole in the Ground” and “Right Said Fred”. achieved

When Doctor Who was revived in the early 21st century, Cribbins was known to younger generations as Wilfred Mott, one of David Tennant’s Dr. companions. He appeared in another BBC children’s series, Old Jack’s Boat, between 2013 and 2015, and earlier this year filmed scenes for the 60th anniversary special of Doctor Who.

“Doctor Who” host Russell T. Davies called Cribbins “a wonderful actor.”

“I’m so lucky to know him,” Davis said. “Thank you for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world.”

Cribbins’ wife of 66 years, Gail, died last year.

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