BEST KNOWN for his role in the 1970s TV series ‘Catweazle’, Geoffrey Bayldon has died at the age of 93.
The Catweazle Fan Club said: “It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that we have to inform you of the passing of our beloved Geoffrey. At the age of 93 and after battling respiratory problems of late, he passed away on the morning of May 10.” It described Bayldon as a ‘lovely, witty, talented and generally charming man’.
He played eccentric wizard Catweazle in the show of the same name from 1970 until 1971 bringing words such as ‘electrickery’ and the ‘Telling Bone’ into the language of the era. After joining Worzel Gummidge in 1979, he won a following of young fans for his role as The Crowman, which he played until 1981.
At the beginning of his career, Bayldon served in the RAF before training as an actor at London’s famous Old Vic theatre. He began his rise to stardom in the 1960s, with roles in Sidney Poitier’s To Sir With Love and landing the part of Q in the original Casino Royale.
He later appeared in the 1979 movie version of hit sitcom Porridge, playing the Governor.
Despite his growing fame, Bayldon is said to have turned down the chance to play Doctor Who twice, but even though he declined the chance to play the Time Lord in the hit sci-fi series, he still went on to become involved in Doctor Who on several occasions.
His later work included roles in Rumpole of the Bailey (1987), The Chronicles of Narnia (1989), Waking the Dead (2004), Heartbeat (2004), a number of appearances in Casualty between 1991 and 2006.
Before retiring from acting, he also had parts in New Tricks (2007) and My Family(2010).