Jon Pertwee

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Jon Pertwee

Born

7/7/1919, Chelsea, London, England, UK

Died

5/20/1996

Birth Name

John Devon Roland Pertwee

Gender

Male

Also Known As

Chief Petty Officer Pertwee, John Pertwee
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
27 votes

Biography

EDIT
Jon was always told that he could never be an actor due to his lisp. This never stopped him and throughout his career Jon portrayed many memorable parts including the third incarnation of Doctor Who and the odd-ball scarecrow Worzel Gummidge. John was born on 7 July 1919…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Like the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee was into gadgets in real lfie.

    • Had a tattoo of a snake on his right forearm. Which he got during his stint in the Navy. Can be visible in the "Doctor Who" episodes "Spearhead from Space" (when he takes a shower) and "Doctor Who and Silurians" (when he wears a t-shirt).

    • Is considered the original Inspector Gadget on Doctor Who, where his Doctor comes up with gadgets.

    • Father of Sean Pertwee.

    • Was a comedian before he got the part of The Third Doctor on Doctor Who.

    • Jon died one week after the Doctor Who telemovie (1996) first aired on the 12th of May.

    • Jon's full name is John Devon Roland Pertwee. John after the apostle, Devon after the county and Roland after his father.

    • During the filming of the Doctor Who episode, 'The Mind of Evil' Jon and his co-star Roger Delgado (who played the Master) knocked over a jug of water while stage fighting. The water on the floor made both the actors slip and fall but the director kept rolling. The scene was used in the final cut of the episode.

    • Jon changed the spelling of his name from John to Jon as a young actor.

    • Jon is the cousin of Bill Pertwee who is best known as the Chief Warden Hodges on Dad's Army.

    • Jon's last story in Doctor Who was Planet of the Spiders.

    • Jon played The Doctor on Dr Who for 4 1/2 years from January 1970 until June 1974.

    • Jon's voice was used in a 'Big Finish' episode of Dr Who. It was for the story Zagreus which celebrated the 40th anniversary on the show; Jon's dialogue was taken from the fan film Devious.

    • Jon appeared once on BBC television's team quiz show Quizball as a last minute substitute for comedian Jimmy Logan, and found himself playing for Scotland. They won.

    • Following the instructions in his will, Jon was cremated with an effigy of the bumbling scarecrow, Worzel Gummidge (his favourite role) attached to his casket. As the casket slid between the curtains, the effigy fell off and landed on the floor, leading one mourner to call out "That's John for you. Always playing it for laughs". The mourners all broke into laughter.

    • During WWII Jon served in the RNVR as an officer. Before he was commisioned, he served aboard HMS Hood from which he was extremely fortunate to be returned to shore to attend his officer's training course, shortly before the ship was sunk by the Bismarck.

      Only 3 people survived from a complement of over 1500.

    • Jon played 'Lycus' in the original stage production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Film role was given to Phil Silvers since Phil had greater name recognition internationally.

    • Jon was considered for the role of 'Captain Mainwaring' in the BBC series Dad's Army (1968), which eventually went to Arthur Lowe.

    • As a young man Jon was told several times that he would never become a successful actor, due to such problems as a partial lisp (speech defect) and a close resemblance to the American actor Danny Kaye.

    • Jon Pertwee's brother, Michael Pertwee, also had a famous career; he was a writer of Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World and Return of the Saint.

    • Jon made several appearances at scifi conventions in support of Doctor Who.

    • One of Jon's ambitions was to appear in cameo roles in some of the big name movies.

    • RADA's principal Kenneth Barnes told Jon he "had no talent whatsoever and should chose another career".

    • Jon's Doctor was the "dandy" of all the Doctors.

    • Jon appeared in several small parts in a host of Carry On films.

    • Jon played a wide variety of roles, but the main one was 'Chief Petty Officer Pertwee' in the BBC Radio programme The Navy Lark from 1959 to 1977.

    • Jon appeared in a UK TV commercial for Children's traffic safety (SPLINK) in the 70s.

    • Jon wrote a second autobiography, I Am The Doctor, which was published posthumously. His wife Ingeborg also contributed to the book.

    • Jon recorded audio book tapes based on the Doctor Who novels Curse of Peladon and Planet of the Daleks.

    • Jon released his first autobiography: Moon Boots and Dinner Suits in 1985.

    • Jon acted in radio plays for many years.

    • Jon recorded a single, "Who is the Doctor", a spoken word recording backed by a version of the Doctor Who theme. This was released in 1972.

    • Jon recorded several audio tape stories based on Worzel Gummidge.

    • Jon appeared on the BBC Radio play Doctor Who: The Paradise of Death (1990s).

    • Jon appeared on the BBC Radio play Doctor Who: The Ghosts of N-Space (1990s).

    • Jon was the voice of the 'Pied Piper' on a children's record of the same title.

    • Jon is the father of actress Dariel Pertwee.

    • Jon was mostly known as a comedic actor until he was cast in a dramatic and action role as the third Doctor in Doctor Who in 1970.

    • Jon was approximately 6' 3" (1.91 m) tall.

    • Jon was nicknamed 'The Tall Light Bulb' by fourth Doctor, Tom Baker.

  • Quotes

    • Jon: (Concerning the inevitability of his career which he felt later on may have played against him) Because it was the family business I never had to struggle to join it I took it for granted which is maybe why I've never taken it seriously enough.

    • Jon Pertwee: Charles Lawton, the famous actor, said to me 'I understand you were thrown out of RADA.' I said 'Yes' and he said 'you're bound to do well, so was I'

    • Jon: There's nothing more alarming than coming home and finding a Yeti sitting on your loo in Tooting Bec.

    • Jon Pertwee: I saw the Doctor as an interplanetary crusader and it was this dashing Pied Piper image that appealed to me. I could spread my cloak, take the Earth under my wing and say, 'It's all right now...I'll deal with this.'

    • Jon Pertwee: (On getting the role of the Doctor) When my agent approached the BBC and that long silence on the phone was over we were told that I was on their short list and had been ever since they wanted a replacement for Patrick Troughton.

    • Jon Pertwee: I like the best of everything.

    • Jon Pertwee: (on his role of The Doctor) It never occurred to me that I could ever be remotely considered for the part of the Doctor. When Tenniel Evans, with whom I was playing in The Navy Lark, suggested I put myself up for the part, I thought it was an absurd idea. I was widely known as a radio and stage comedy actor and they would never take the suggestion seriously.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Rebel with a cause - that of spicing up the role of Doctor Who. My favourite Who actor.

    10
    Ever since I saw Jon Pertwee in 'Spearhead From Space', the first of the 3rd Doctor stories, I was transfixed. He brought a new panashe to the role, making the Doctor a man of action and a snappy dresser, the only man who could get away with wearing a frilly shirt apart for Jimi Hendrix. His sense of humour was second to none and this combined with a great ability to mimic voices moved Dr Who into a new exciting area. He is a great loss and is sadly missed. I just love rewatching the DVDs and every episode still moves me.moreless
  • THE DOCTOR!!!

    7.0
    The Doctor Who did it for me! Until he regenerated into that scarf wearing hippie! Oooo this guy made a creepy Doctor! And I remember when he lost his head to Aunt Sally! And when he hosted Whodoneit... You're sadly missed Mr Pertwee!!! Note: I believe his brother 'Bill Pertwee' was in Dad's Army.
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