2020 will long be remembered as the year the Angel of Death worked overtime.The BBC reported that English actor Geoffrey Palmer, OBE, died November 6, 2020, at the age of 93. Like fellow nonagenarian Sir Sean Connery, he passed away peacefully at home. Geoffrey Palmer was born June 4, 1927 in London, England. He was best known for starring in TV sitcoms, but had nearly 200 roles in television and films, plus, of course, several plays and radio dramas. He appeared on Doctor Who three times, twice with the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and once with the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant).
His final role was as Geoffrey Fisher in An Unquiet Life, which is currently in post-production, and should be released later this year, or possibly in 2021. His best-known role was as Lionel Hardcastle in As Time Goes By.
Palmer appeared in “The Silurians” as Permanent Under-Secretary Masters, a 1970 adventure starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, Caroline Shaw as Companion Liz Shaw, and Blake’s Seven‘s Kerr Avon (Paul Darrow) as Captain Hawkins. He returned in 1972 as the Administrator of Solos in “The Mutants,” again starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, but this time with Katy Manning as Companion Jo Grant and Czech actor George Pravda as Jaeger. One of only 33 actors who appeared in both 20th century and 21st century episodes of Doctor Who, Palmer played Captain Hardaker, commander of the ill-fated Titanic in the 2007 Christmas special “Voyage of the Damned,” starring David Tennent as the Doctor and Australian singer/actress Kylie Minogue as cocktail waitress Astrid Peth, Jimmy Vee as Bannakaffalatta, and Bernard Cribbins in his first appearance as Wilfred Mott.
Palmer appeared in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies as Admiral Roebuck. He appeared in Blackadder Goes Fourth as Field Marshal Haig, In the 1998 version of Alice Through the Looking Glass, he played the White King. In the 2003 movie Peter Pan, he played Sir Edward Quiller Couch. He was the Head Geographer in Paddington.
IMDB.com said “He is the only actor to appear in all of the top three of the British Film Institute’s 100 Greatest British Television Programmes: Fawlty Towers (1975), The Wednesday Play: Cathy Come Home (1966) and Doctor Who (1963).”
He married Sally Green in 1963. They were married for fifty-seven years, and had two children, Harriet and Charles. Charles Palmer directed six adventures of Dr. Who, four with Tennant and two with Capaldi. Palmer is survived by his widow Sally, his children Harriet and Charles, and grandsons William and Henry. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List published 31 December 2004 for his services to drama. He served in the Royal Marines from 1946 to 1948, before becoming an actor.