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William Hartnell

Picture of William Hartnell.

William Henry Hartnell (8 January 1908 – 23 April 1975), also known as Billy Hartnell or Bill Hartnell, was an English actor.

Hartnell played the first incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, from 1963 to 1966. He was also known for his roles as Sergeant Grimshaw, the title character of the first Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant in 1958, and Company Sergeant Major Percy Bullimore in the sitcom The Army Game from 1957 until 1958, and again in 1960. Hartnell entered the theatre in 1925 working under Frank Benson as a general stagehand.

He appeared in numerous Shakespearian plays, including The Merchant of Venice (1926), Julius Caesar (1926), As You Like It (1926), Hamlet (1926), The Tempest (1926) and Macbeth (1926). He also appeared in She Stoops to Conquer (1926), School for Scandal (1926) and Good Morning, Bill (1927), before performing in Miss Elizabeth’s Prisoner (1928). This play was written by Robert Neilson Stephens and E. Lyall Swete. It featured the actress Heather McIntyre, whom he married during the following year. His first of more than sixty film appearances was in Say It With Music (1932).

Hartnell continued to play comic characters until he was cast in the robust role of Sergeant Ned Fletcher in The Way Ahead (1944). From then on his career was defined by playing mainly policemen, soldiers, and thugs. Hartnell’s performance in This Sporting Life was noted by Verity Lambert, the producer who was setting up a new science-fiction television series for the BBC entitled Doctor Who; and, mainly on the strength of that performance, Lambert offered him the title role.

Born: Born: Jan 8, 1908 In St. Pancras, London, England, UK


2017: Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time
2013: Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited
2013: Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor
2006: Creation of the Daleks
2005: Doctor Who
1983: Doctor Who: The Five Doctors
1982: Doctor Who: Earthshock
1973: Doctor Who: The Three Doctors
1966: Doctor Who: The Ark
1966: Doctor Who: The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
1966: Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker
1966: Doctor Who: The Daleks’ Master Plan
1966: Doctor Who: The War Machines
1966: Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet
1966: Doctor Who: The Gunfighters
1966: Doctor Who: The Smugglers
1966: Doctor Who: The Savages
1965: Doctor Who: The Crusade
1965: Doctor Who: The Romans
1965: Doctor Who: The Rescue
1965: Doctor Who: The Space Museum
1965: Doctor Who: The Web Planet
1965: Doctor Who: The Chase
1965: Doctor Who: The Time Meddler
1965: Doctor Who: Galaxy 4
1965: Doctor Who: The Myth Makers
1964: Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus
1964: Doctor Who: Marco Polo
1964: Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction
1964: Doctor Who: The Aztecs
1964: Doctor Who: The Daleks
1964: Doctor Who: The Sensorites
1964: Doctor Who: The Dalek Invasion of Earth
1964: Doctor Who: Planet of Giants
1964: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror
1963: This Sporting Life
1963: To Have and to Hold
1963: Heavens Above!
1963: Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child
1963: Doctor Who
1963: The World Ten Times Over
1962: Tomorrow at Ten
1961: Ghost Squad
1960: Piccadilly Third Stop
1960: Jackpot
1960: And the Same to You
1959: Shake Hands with the Devil
1959: Strictly Confidential
1959: No Hiding Place
1959: The Mouse That Roared
1959: The Night We Dropped a Clanger
1958: Date with Disaster
1958: Carry On Sergeant
1957: Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst
1957: The Army Game
1957: The Hypnotist
1957: Hell Drivers
1956: Doublecross
1956: Tons of Trouble
1956: Private’s Progress
1955: Footsteps in the Fog
1955: Josephine and Men
1953: Will Any Gentleman…?
1952: The Pickwick Papers
1952: The Ringer
1952: The Holly and the Ivy
1951: The Magic Box
1951: The Dark Man
1950: Double Confession
1949: Now Barabbas
1949: The Lost People
1948: Brighton Rock
1948: Escape
1947: Odd Man Out
1947: Temptation Harbour
1946: Appointment with Crime
1945: The Agitator
1945: Query
1944: Strawberry Roan
1944: The Way Ahead
1943: The Bells Go Down
1943: The Peterville Diamond
1943: The Dark Tower
1943: Headline
1942: Suspected Person
1942: The Goose Steps Out
1942: They Flew Alone
1941: Freedom Radio
1940: They Came by Night
1938: They Drive by Night
1937: Farewell Again
1936: The Crimson Circle
1936: Midnight at Madame Tussaud’s
1935: The Guv’nor
1934: The Perfect Flaw
1933: Follow the Lady


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