Roger Delgado

Last updated 09 January 2020

Roger Delgado (1918-1973)
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Roger Caesar Marius Bernard de Delgado Torres Castillo Roberto

Born: Friday 1st March 1918
Died: Monday 18th June 1973 (age: 55)


Roger Delgado was an English actor, best known for his role as The Master playing alongside the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee.

He was born in Whitechapel, in the East End of London within the sound of the Bow Bells. He attended the CVMS, a Roman Catholic secondary school in Holland Park. Delgado worked extensively on the British stage, and on TV, film and radio.

He appeared in the 1955 BBC Television serial Quatermass II, had a role in the Powell and Pressburger wartime drama Battle of the River Plate (1956), and came to wide popular attention in Britain when he played the Spanish envoy Mendoza in the ITC Entertainment series Sir Francis Drake (1961-62). Other work included roles in The Champions (1969), Danger Man (1961), The Saint(1962, 1966), and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969). He also appeared in The Avengers (1961, 1969), The Power Game (1966) and Crossfire (1967). In film, he appeared alongside Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in The Road to Hong Kong.

He began work on Doctor Who in late 1970, his first broadcast appearance being in the January 1971 adventure Terror of the Autons and was the principal villain for all of Season Eight's stories. He continued to make appearances in both Seasons Nine and Ten, his last being in the story Frontier In Space.

Delgado planned to leave the series in 1974 and a grand battle was planned between the third Doctor and the Master which would end in the Master's death and the Doctor's regeneration. However, whilst on location during filming of L'Escadron d'or avec Coluche et Philippe Léotard (the fourth episode of French mini-series La Cloche tibétaine), he was killed in a car crash as his chauffeur-driven vehicle went off the road into a ravine.

Additional Details

  • Family Announcements: Roger Delgado
  • The Stage (12th July 1973)
    ROGER DELGADO, who was killed in a road accident while on film location in Turkey, was born in London in 1918 of French and Spanish parents. Before going into the theatre he studied at the London School of Economics. He was in repertory at Leicester and York, then became a member of the BBC drama repertory, when he a played a wide range of parts. But it was on television that his name became widely known, as the Master in Dr Who.