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Pioneering black actor Earl Cameron who appeared in Doctor Who and Thunderball dies at the age of 102

Pioneering black British actor Earl Cameron who appeared in Doctor Who and Thunderball dies at the age of 102

  • Cameron was one of the first black actors to build a successful acting career in Britain
  • The actor’s first major role came in the movie Pool of London in 1951
  • He also starred in the James Bond movie Thunderball as an assistant to 007
  • Appearance in Doctor Who was the first time a black actor played an astronaut

The pioneering actor Earl Cameron CBE, one of the first successful black British actors, passed away at the age of 102.

Best known for his roles in Doctor Who, Thunderball and Inception, Bermuda-born Cameron first appeared on the screen in Pool of London in 1951.

Cameron lived in Kenilworth, Warwickshire with his wife Barbara and also leaves behind his six children.

A family friend, Martin Beckett, confirmed that the actor had died, the BBC reports.

The pioneering actor Earl Cameron CBE, one of the first successful black British actors, passed away at the age of 102

The pioneering actor Earl Cameron CBE, one of the first successful black British actors, passed away at the age of 102

Mr. Beckett said, “He had protected himself because of Covid and didn’t really feel like going out, he had chest complaints.

“He’s a great character, very spiritual, very humble, we’re going to miss him.

The pioneering actor was born in 1917 in Pembroke, Bermuda, and started his career in the British merchant navy.

He ended up in Britain before the start of World War II and scrambled by before his acting career started in 1951.

Some of Cameron's best-loved roles came in Doctor Who (pictured), in which he became the first black actor to play an astronaut, and the James Bond movie Tunderball

Some of Cameron's best-loved roles came in Doctor Who (pictured), in which he became the first black actor to play an astronaut, and the James Bond movie Tunderball

Some of Cameron’s best-loved roles came in Doctor Who (pictured), in which he became the first black actor to play an astronaut, and the James Bond movie Tunderball

His lead role in Pool of London only made him the fourth ever black actor to appear in a prominent role in a British film.

The film was also groundbreaking as it was the first British film to portray a mixed race relationship.

Cameron’s next major role came in the 1955 movie Simba, followed closely by a role in the movie Safari.

After being considered for a role in the James Bond movie Dr No, he soon got a role as 007’s assistant Pinder in Thunderball.

Cameron was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 and inducted into the British Screen Nation Hall of Fame in 2016

Cameron was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 and inducted into the British Screen Nation Hall of Fame in 2016

Cameron was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 and inducted into the British Screen Nation Hall of Fame in 2016

However, his career did not only affect the film world, because Cameron also forged a brilliant television career.

A highlight of his TV career came in his appearance in Doctor Who. Cameron appeared in The Tenth Planet and became the first black actor to play an astronaut, and in 2017 he was also only the third actor to appear on the show to reach the age of 100.

Cameron’s last acting credit came as a minor role in the 2010 movie Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page.

In 2009 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

The veteran actor was inducted into the British Screen Nation Hall of Fame in 2016 and also received an honorary degree from the University of Warwick in 2013.

Cameron said to The Guardian in 2017, “I never saw myself as a pioneer. Only later, when I look back, did it occur to me that I was. ‘

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