Entertainment

Actor Bernard Cribbins, who delighted U.K. kids for generations, dies at 93

LONDON (AP) —Actor Bernard Cribbins, a beloved British entertainer whose seven-decade. Career spanned from raunchy comedies “Carry On” to teen television and “Physician Who,” has died. He was 93.

Agent Gavin Barker Associates announced Cribbins’ death on Thursday.

“Bernard’s contribution to British entertainment is unquestionable,” he said. “He was distinctive, typifying the best of his era. And will probably be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and dealing with him.”

Cribbins, a loving and fatherly character actor, was a childlike presence to generations of Britons. He played station porter Albert Perks in the classic 1970 film. “The Railway Youngsters” and lent his voice to everyone in “The Wombles,” a 1970s animated series about a family of burrowing. Creatures that live under the Wimbledon General of London.

Cribbins was also the voice of highway safety squirrel Tufty Fluffytail in a series of public information videos. And was ranked with the most appearances, over 100, on the children’s television series “Jackanory.”

Born into a poor family in Oldham, northwest England, in 1928, Cribbins left university in his teens and pursued a career as a stage manager and supporting actor in regional repertory theatre.

He went on to West Finish productions before appearing in a dizzying array of British films. Including the 1960 comedy “Two-Manner Stretch” opposite Peter Sellers; 1966 “Physician Who” spinoff “Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD”; the 1967 James Bond parody “On line casino Royale”; and surely one of Alfred Hitchcock’s last thrillers, “Frenzy” in 1972.

He appeared in several films in the “Carry On” series, was a memorable guest star on the staple sitcom “Fawlty Towers,” and had 10 hits with the comedy songs “Gap in the Floor” and “Proper Mentioned Fred.”

A young era knew Cribbins as Wilfred Mott, a sidekick to David Tennant’s titular doctor, when he revived “Doctor Who” in the early 21st century. He appeared in another BBC children’s series, “Previous Jack’s Boat,” between 2013 and 2015, and filmed scenes earlier this year for an upcoming “Doctor Who” 60th anniversary special.

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“Physician Who” executive producer Russell T. Davies recorded Cribbins as “a beautiful actor.”

“I’m very lucky to have recognized him,” Davies said. “Thank you for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world.”

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

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