Ian Don Marter was born in 1944 in Coventry, in the midlands of the UK. His father, Donald, was a sergeant in the RAF and had been an electrician. His mother's name was Helen. He attended the prestigious Oxford University and graduated in 1969, and initially worked behind the scenes in the theatre before acting in minor roles.
He initially auditioned for the role of Captain Mike Yates in long-running UK Sci Fi show Doctor Who
, but that went to Richard Franklin
. However, the producers kept him in mind and he returned to play the very popular character Harry Sullivan in 1974 alongside Tom Baker's
Doctor and Elizabeth Sladen's
He only stayed for one series but remained closely connected to Doctor Who
through nine novelisations of Who stories, as well as co-writing a script for a potential Doctor Who
Apart from Doctor Who
Ian had small roles in other UK shows, such as Bergerac
and The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Ian died unexpectedly on his 42nd birthday in 1986. He was married with two sons at the time of his death.