On This Day (USA) - 11 August

The Categories of Life premiered on BBC One in 2011 at 9:02pm BST, watched by 5.17 million viewers.
Sci-fi drama. Torchwood goes undercover and discovers the terrible truth behind the Miracle. But the enemy is closing in and death is about to make a shocking return.

Gray O'Brien will be 54 - credited as Rickston Slade in Voyage of the Damned

Gray O'Brien  is a Scottish television and film actor, best known for his portrayal of the villainous Weatherfield businessman Tony Gordon in the popular British soap opera Coronation Street from 2007 to 2010, and as Dr Richard McCaig on Casualty from 1996 to 1998.

O'Brien was born in Stewarton, Ayrshire, and is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

O'Brien was judged Scotland's eleventh most eligible man in February 2009 by a Scotland on Sunday panel.

Charles Cecil MBE will be 60 - 2 credits, including Voice Director for Blood Of The Cybermen (as Charles Cecil)(Games)

Worked on the 2010 online games

Mickey Edwards will be 73 - credited as Visual Effects Designer for Four To Doomsday

BBC Visual Effects Designer

Clive Doig will be 82 - 15 credits, including Vision Mixer for The Daleks

Clive Doig is a former TV producer who worked as a vision mixer on Doctor Who in its early days, although he did not receive an on-screen credit.

Among the series he produced was Vision On, which was primarily for deaf children and featured Sylvester McCoy, but he also created and produced a number of children's TV shows, including the BAFTA-winning Jigsaw, which was co-presented by Janet Ellis, featured a giant floating jigaw piece voiced by John Leeson, and included McCoy in a supporting role as one of the two O-Men.

Nowadays, Doig is the Trackword puzzle compiler for listings magazine Radio Times.

Ian Thompson will be 83 - 2 credits, including Hetra in The Web Planet

Actor who appeared in the 1965 story, The Web Planet.

John Gorrie will be 90 - 2 credits, including Director for The Keys of Marinus

John Gorrie (born  in HastingsEast SussexEngland) is a director.

He directed the 1964 story The Keys of Marinus

He started out as an actor before becoming assistant floor manager at the BBC. He attended BBCs director's course in early 1963 and his first jobs as a director were for the soap opera Compact and the anthology series Suspense.

Gorrie also directed episodes of Out of the UnknownEdward the Seventh (which he also co-wrote), Play of the MonthPlay for Today, and Tales of the Unexpected. Gorrie also directed John Osborne's adaptation of Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Grayin 1976.

In 1979, John Gorrie directed two classics: Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (taping dates May 16-21, first transmitted in the UK on 6 January 1980), and The Tempest (taping dates July 23-28, first transmitted in the UK on 27 February 1980) in the BBC Television Shakespeare project.

Biography from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA

Brian Badcoe (died 1992 aged 67) would be 97 - credited as Adam in Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Actor who played Adam in the 1974 story Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

Ron Grainer (died 1981 aged 58) would be 100 - 322 credits, including Title Music for An Unearthly Child

Ron Grainer was one of the mos prolific composers of music for British television.  He composed the Doctor Who Theme music used on every episode of the series.

Grainer was born in Atherton, Queensland, Australia, where his father owned the local milk bar. His mother played piano and Ron was on the keyboard from the age of two and considered a child genius, playing concerts for the local community by the age of six. 

He studied music under Sir Eugene Goosens at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but this was interrupted by World War II. He returned to Sydney Conservatorium when the war ended but he gave up the violin to concentrate on composition. 

In 1952, he moved to England, initially finding work as a pianist in light entertainment, touring as part of a musical act - The Alien Brothers & June - with other acts such as Billy Daniels, Guy Mitchell, Frankie Laine, Al Martino and Billy Eckstine. He was rewarded with no less than three appearances at the London Palladium.

He began to act regularly as musical adviser to many gala programmes produced by Associated Rediffusion TV, including those featuring Tito Gobbi and Maria Callas. He was asked to write music for a number of television plays, including The Birthday Party, and also accepted the job as musical adviser to a Julie Andrews series. He was commissioned to write both the theme and incidental music for a new detective series - "Maigret" (1960) - based on the books written by Georges Simenon. This proved to be a major landmark in Grainer's own career. His work on Maigret, which began in 1960 with Rupert Davies in the title role, was directly responsible for him securing his first recording deal with Warner Bros., who issued both a single and e.p. featuring musical extracts from the BBC series. Bandleader Joe Loss also recorded the theme and perhaps surprisingly it was his single which reached number 20 in the charts.

Over the next few years, a succession of TV themes and scores followed, many for the BBC. The first of these was Happy Joe in 1962, the theme to "Comedy Playhouse" One of the first Comedy Playhouse pilots to get its own series was "Steptoe and Son" (1962), which starred Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H. Corbett as the feuding father and son rag and bone men. Grainer was invited to compose the theme, which he named Old Ned - a reference to the horse which in the opening sequence was shown pulling the cart along.

One of BBC's very first cooking programmes, Fanny Craddock, transmitted in 1963, also benefited from a Grainer theme, as did Giants Of Steam, "The Flying Swan" (1965) & "The Old Curiosity Shop" (1962). In 1963, Grainer was asked to provide a theme for a new children's BBC's science fiction series entitled "Doctor Who" (1963). Despite some changes in the arrangement, this theme is still being used today.

Producer Ned Sherrin was impressed with Grainer's ability to create themes for such a wide variety of programmes and in the same year commissioned him to compose the theme for the ground-breaking satirical BBC TV show, "That Was the Week That Was" (1962) and its successor, "Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life" (1964). Lyricist Caryl Brahms provided the words sung by Millicent Martin.

After concentrating for a few years on films and theatre work, 1967 saw him back on the small screen. "Man in a Suitcase" (1967), an ITC series starring Richard Bradford as McGill - "The Prisoner (1967). and  "Paul Temple" (1969), created by thriller-writer Francis Durbridge for a series of novels in the 1930s.

 In the early seventies, Grainer achieved further success as a writer of television themes with three commissions for London Weekend Television: Man In The News, "Trouble with Lilian, The" (1971) and "The Train Now Standing (1972), as well as one for Thames - "For the Love of Ada" (1970). 

He was commissioned by Anglia Television to write the theme for a new mystery series entitled "Tales of the Unexpected" (1979). Thames Television provided Grainer with two further commissions in that same year. "Born and Bred" (1978) and "Edward & Mrs. Simpson" (1980). 

Ron Grainer continued writing music for television and films right up to his death in 1981, including two comedies for Independent Television: "Shelley" (1979) and "It Takes a Worried Man" (1981) His score for The Business Of Murder, an episode of LWT's Saturday Night Thriller series, was his very last and was transmitted posthumously in 1982. 

He died on 21st February, 1981, suffering from cancer of the spine.

Eddie Powell (died 2000 aged 73) - 2 credits, including Stunt Double for Doctor Who in The Deadly Assassin

Eddie Powell  played Thompson in Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D..

Derek Newark (died 1998 aged 65) - 2 credits, including Greg Sutton in Inferno

Derek Newark was a English actor born in Great Yarmouth.

He appeared in a large number of film and television roles, including The Baron (1967), The Avengers (three episodes in the 1960s), Z Cars (six episodes between 1969 to 1972), Barlow at Large in the recurring role of Det. Insp. Tucker (1974-1975) and various other minor roles. 

He appeared in episodes two to four of the first Doctor Who story An Unearthly Child in 1963. Later he appeared opposite Jon Pertwee in the 1970 story Inferno. 

Newark also played the role of Spooner, an ill-tempered former Red Devil (Britain's elite paratroopers) turned professional wrestler in the series Rising Damp.

In the 1970s he became more involved in the theatre, spending nearly a decade at the Royal National Theatre. His most important roles there were Bottom in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and the world premiere of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross' where he played Shelley Levene and Malcolm in Alan Ayckbourn's 'Bedroom Farce', which also played in the West End and on Broadway. 

He also a created the role of Roote in Harold Pinter's play 'The Hothouse' which premiered in 1980 in a production directed by Pinter himself. Pinter went on to play the part himself in a later revival. In 1982, he played Martin Bormann in the TV series, based on Albert Speer's 'Inside the Third Reich'.

In the cinema Newark played Jessard in the police drama The Offence (Sidney Lumet 1972).

Derek Newark died of a heart attack, brought on by liver failure, on 11 August 1998 in West London.

Peter Cushing (died 1994 aged 81) - 2 credits, including Dr. Who in Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.(Aaru)

Peter Wilton Cushing, OBE was an English actor and a BAFTA TV Award Best Actor winner in 1956. He is mainly known for his many appearances in Hammer Films, in which he played the sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing, among many other roles. He appeared frequently opposite Christopher Lee, and occasionally Vincent Price. A familiar face on both sides of the Atlantic, Cushing's best-known roles outside the Hammer productions include Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (1977) and Dr. Who in Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966), films based on the Doctor Who television series.

Early life and career

Cushing was born in Kenley, Surrey, the second son of George Edward Cushing and Nellie Maria (née King) Cushing. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Dulwich, South London. After the end of the First World War, they returned close to Kenley; this time to neighbouring Purley, Surrey, where in 1926 his quantity surveyor father built Clearview, an Art Deco house on St James Road. It was here that Cushing remained until early adulthood.

Educated at Shoreham College, Cushing left his first job as a surveyor's assistant to take up a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After working in repertory theatre in Worthing, Sussex, he left for Hollywood in 1939, debuting in The Man in the Iron Mask later that year, before returning to England in 1941 after appearing in several films. In one, A Chump at Oxford (1940), he appeared opposite Laurel and Hardy. His first major film role was that of Osric in Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948).

In the 1950s, he worked in television, notably as Winston Smith in the BBC's 1954 adaptation of the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), scripted by Nigel Kneale. Cushing was highly praised for his performance, although he considered his acting in the surviving version of the broadcast — it was performed live twice in one week, then a common practice, and only the second version exists in the archives — to be inferior to the first.

Among other TV appearances, Cushing starred as Fitzwilliam Darcy in the BBC's production of Pride and Prejudice (1952), as King Richard II in Richard of Bordeaux (1955), and as Raan, a Prospero-like character, in "Missing Link" (1975), an episode of Space: 1999. He also appeared in The Avengers and its successor series, The New Avengers. In 1956, he received the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor.

Hammer Horror and Doctor Who

Cushing is well known for playing Baron Victor Frankenstein and Professor Van Helsing in a long series of horror films produced by Hammer Film Productions in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He was often cast alongside Christopher Lee, who became his best friend. His first appearances in his two most famous roles were in Terence Fisher's films The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958). He later said that his career decisions entailed selecting roles where he knew that he would be accepted by the audience. "Who wants to see me as Hamlet? Very few. But millions want to see me as Frankenstein, so that's the one I do."

Cushing also played Sherlock Holmes many times, originally in Hammer's The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), the first Holmes adaptation to be filmed in colour. This was followed by a performance in 16 episodes of the BBC series Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (1968), of which only six episodes survive. Cushing reprised the role, now playing the detective in old age, in The Masks of Death (1984) for Channel 4.

In the mid-1960s, Cushing played Dr. Who in two films (Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.) based on the BBC science-fiction TV series Doctor Who. He decided to play the part as a lovable and avuncular figure to counter the public's image of him as a horror actor.

In an interview published in ABC Film Review in November 1964, Cushing stated, "People look at me as if I were some sort of monster, but I can't think why. In my macabre pictures, I have either been a monster-maker or a monster-destroyer, but never a monster. Actually, I'm a gentle fellow. Never harmed a fly. I love animals, and when I'm in the country I'm a keen bird-watcher." In an interview published in 1966, he added, "I do get terribly tired with the neighbourhood kids telling me 'My mum says she wouldn't want to meet you in a dark alley'."

Personal life

In 1971, Cushing withdrew from the filming of Blood from the Mummy's Tomb following the death of his wife, actress Violet Helene Beck (8 February 1905 – 14 January 1971), to whom he had been married since 1943. The following year, he was quoted in the Radio Times as having said, "Since Helen passed on I can't find anything; the heart, quite simply, has gone out of everything. Time is interminable, the loneliness is almost unbearable and the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that my dear Helen and I will be reunited again some day. To join Helen is my only ambition. You have my permission to publish that ... really, you know, dear boy, it's all just killing time. Please say that."

In his autobiography, Cushing implies that he attempted suicide on the night of his wife's death by running up and down stairs in the vain hope that it would induce a heart attack. He later stated that this had simply been a hysterical response borne out of grief, and that he had not purposely attempted to end his life; a poem left by Helen had implored him not to die until he had lived his life to the full, and he had resolved that to commit suicide would have meant letting her down. Although not conventionally religious, Cushing maintained a belief both in God and an afterlife.

The effects of his wife's death proved to be as much physical as mental. For his role in Dracula A.D. 1972, Cushing had originally been cast as the father of Stephanie Beacham's character, but had aged so visibly and lost so much weight that the script was hastily re-written to make him her grandfather: it was done again in the last Dracula film from Hammer, The Satanic Rites of Dracula. In a silent tribute to Helen, a shot of Van Helsing's desk includes a photograph of her. He repeated the role of the man who lost family in other horror films, including Asylum (1972), The Creeping Flesh (1973), and The Ghoul (1975). In 1986, Cushing appeared on the BBC TV show Jim'll Fix It, his wish being to have a strain of rose named after Helen; the "Helen Cushing Rose" was the result. As the 1970s ended, Cushing did two final Hammer films, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires.

Later career

Star Wars

In 1976, Cushing was cast in Star Wars in the part of Grand Moff Tarkin. He was presented with ill-fitting riding boots, which pinched his feet so much that he was given permission by director George Lucas to play the role wearing his slippers. The camera operators filmed him only from the knees up, or else standing behind the table of the Death Star conference room set.

Morecambe and Wise

Following Star Wars, Cushing continued to appear sporadically in film and television, as his health permitted. In 1969, he had appeared in a comedy play by Ernie Wise on The Morecambe and Wise Show on BBC2. Throughout the BBC era of the show, he would regularly join Wise and his comic partner, Eric Morecambe, on stage; he would constantly seek payment for his first appearance, wearily asking "Have you got my five pounds yet?"

This running joke continued when the duo left the BBC and moved to Thames Television in 1978. Cushing appeared in their first special for Thames Television on 18 October, still asking to be paid, with the hosts repeatedly trying to get rid of him; at the end of the show, Morecambe placed some money in a wallet wired up to a bomb, in an attempt to blow Cushing up in exaggerated comedic style. In the duo's Christmas special, Cushing pretended to be the Prime Minister while Morecambe and Wise caroled outside 10 Downing Street; he made the comedians give him money and finally came out to declare "paid, at last!"

Wise was a guest for Cushing's appearance on This Is Your Life in 1990. He promptly presented Cushing with a five-pound note, only to extort it back from him. Cushing was delighted and exclaimed "All these years and I still haven't got my fiver!"

Later life and death

Cushing was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1982, but managed to survive for 12 years without surgery,[12] although his health remained fragile. In 1989, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, although his friend Christopher Lee publicly opined that the honour was "too little, too late". Cushing retired to Whitstable, on the Kent coast, where he had bought a seafront home in 1959, and continued his hobby of birdwatching while writing two autobiographies. He also worked as a painter, specialising in watercolours, and wrote and illustrated a children's book of Lewis Carroll-style humour, The Bois Saga. He was the patron of the Vegetarian Society from 1987 until his death.

Cushing's final professional commitment was the co-narration of the TV documentary Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror, produced by American writer and director Ted Newsom. His contribution was recorded in Canterbury, near his home. The programme was broadcast only a few days before his death on 11 August 1994, aged 81.[citation needed]

In an interview included on the DVD release of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), Lee said of his friend's death: "I don't want to sound gloomy, but, at some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again."

Biography from the wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA