DoctorDoctor Who Guide

Valentine Dyall

Last updated 05 March 2013


Valentine Dyall (1908-1985)
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Valentine Dyall

Born: Thu 7th May 1908
Died: Mon 24th June 1985 (age: 77)

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Valentine Dyall  was an English character actor, the son of veteran actor Franklin Dyall. Dyall was especially popular as a voice actor, due to his very distinctive sepulchral voice, he was known for many years as "The Man in Black", narrator of the BBC Radio horror series Appointment With Fear.

He portrayed the Black Guardian in several Doctor Who serials (The Armageddon Factor in 1979, and the linked trilogy of Mawdryn UndeadTerminus and Enlightenment in 1983) and also voiced the major role of Captain Slarn in the Doctor Who radio serial Slipback (1985). He also played Norl in the episode "City at the Edge of the World" in the series Blake's 7. In 1983 he attended Doctor Who's 20th Anniversary celebrations at Longleat alongside many other cast and crew from the series. 

In his early career, he appeared in one movie with his father, the spy thriller Yellow Canary (1943), which starred Anna Neagle andRichard Greene. His part was that of a German U-boat commander attempting to kidnap a British agent from a ship in the Atlantic, Franklin Dyall playing the ship's captain. He also played the Duke of Burgundy in Olivier's wartime film of Henry V and had a small role as a German officer in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

Dyall also made guest appearances in several episodes of The Goon Show, parodying his familiar radio persona, including "The Canal" where he played "The Man in Grey" (due to a very cheap dry cleaners). Much later he worked in the radio version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy playing Gargravarr, and on thetelevision and LP versions, where he played the voice of thecomputer Deep Thought.

He played the witch Jethrow Keane in The City of the Dead (1960). He appeared in Robert Wise's 1963 film The Haunting as Mr.Dudley, the sinister caretaker of the haunted Hill House.

Dyall played the central character Lord Fortnum, who turns into a bed-sitting room following a nuclear war, in Spike Milligan and John Antrobus' stage play The Bed-Sitting Room, which opened at the Mermaid Theatre on 31 January 1963.[1][2]

He voiced the character of evil mastermind Dr. Noah in the 1967 James Bond parody Casino Royale and appeared as Lorrimer in the BBC Miss Marple episode The Body in the Library (1984). Dyall also made regular appearances in all three seasons of the series Secret Army as Dr. Pascal Keldermans.

He co-hosted the Dusty Springfield BBC musical variety series Decidedly Dusty in 1969. The BBC wiped their archives of this and many of their 1960s musical variety programmes (allegedly in the 1970s, just before the dawn of home video) and no other video copies have surfaced, although there are bootleg-quality fan-made audio recordings that have survived.

He portrayed the Black Guardian in several Doctor Who serials (The Armageddon Factor in 1979, and the linked trilogy of Mawdryn UndeadTerminus and Enlightenment in 1983) and also voiced the major role of Captain Slarn in the Doctor Who radio serial Slipback (1985). He also played Norl in the episode "City at the Edge of the World" in the series Blake's 7. In 1983 he attended Doctor Who's 20th Anniversary celebrations at Longleat alongside many other cast and crew from the series.

Dyall's last role, in the year of his death, was as Marcade in Love's Labour's Lost, in the BBC Television Shakespeare.






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