Although he appeared alongside three Doctor Who actors – Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker – the role with which Bernard Horsfall will be chiefly associated is that of the local doctor in the ITV series Enemy at the Door (1978-80), which dealt with the German occupation of Guernsey during the Second World War.
The Stage spotted his potential early on. When he played novelist Christopher Isherwood in a production of I Am a Camera in Ipswich in 1956, it praised his performance as one of “warmth and integrity and outstanding for its economy and depth”.
Horsfall’s television career lasted just over 50 years. He first appeared in Doctor Who in 1968, when he played Gulliver in The Mind Robber. The following year, he appeared as the First Time Lord in The War Games. There followed the role of Taron in Planet of the Daleks (1973) and Chancellor Goth in The Deadly Assassin (1979). This last episode elicited complaints about violence from the Clean Up TV campaigner Mary Whitehouse.
Although Horsfall appeared in many Shakespearean productions, he was not above pantomime, being commended once in Puss in Boots at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, for his “splendidly unheroic ogre with a fine sense of comedy”.
In the cinema, he was seen in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Richard Attenborough’s Oscar-winning Gandhi (1982) and the Mel Gibson epic, Braveheart (1995).
Bernard Horsfall, who was born on November 29, 1930, died on January 29, aged 82.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.