Nicholas Courtney, the British actor best-known for his appearances on Doctor Who, has died after a short illness at the age of 81.
In an acting career spanning five decades, it was Courtney's long-running role on the cult science-fiction series as Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart - or simply the Brigadier - for which he is best remembered and loved.
News of his passing was relayed by the actor Katy Manning, who appeared in several Doctor Who stories featuring the Brigadier in the 1970s. Courtney is survived by his wife and two children.
Courtney made his first Doctor Who appearance in the 1965 serial "The Daleks' Master Plan". He returned as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart in 1968's "The Web of Fear", before going on to appear - after being promoted to the rank of Brigadier - in another twenty-two serials.
His final appearance in Doctor Who came in 1989's "Battlefield", one of the last stories to be aired on television before the series was axed by the BBC. Throughout his time on the programme, he appeared alongside six different Doctors.
Courtney maintained his profile in Doctor Who circles after the series ended, reprising the role of Brigadier in a 1993 charity special, two BBC Radio productions and fourteen audio dramas from the production company Big Finish. His character also featured in a string of novels and short stories.
The Brigadier did not appear in the post-2005 revival of Doctor Who, but he returned - with a knighthood - for an episode of the spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2008.
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