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Jack Watling

Jack Watling
File:Professor Travers.jpg
Jack Watling as Professor Travers in the Doctor Who serial The Web of Fear.
Born Jack Stanley Watling
(1923-01-13)13 January 1923
Chingford, Essex, England
Died 22 May 2001(2001-05-22) (aged 78)
Chelmsford, Essex, England
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Patricia Hicks
Children Dilys Watling
Deborah Watling
Giles Watling
Nicky Matthews

Jack Watling (13 January 1923 – 22 May 2001) was an English actor.[1]

Early life

Watling trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts as a child and made his stage debut in Where the Rainbow Ends at the Holborn Empire in 1936. He made his first film appearances (all uncredited) in Sixty Glorious Years, Housemaster (both 1938) and Goodbye, Mr Chips (1939).[2]


In 1941, he played Bill Hopkins in Once a Crook in his West End debut. Later that same year, he played George Perrey in Cottage to Let. He starred as Flight Lieutenant Teddy Graham in the original 1942 production of Terence Rattigan's Flare Path.[2]


He had a long career in low-key British films, originally in easy-going boyish roles. Early appearances were in We Dive at Dawn (1943), The Demi-Paradise (1943) opposite Laurence Olivier, The Way Ahead (1944) with David Niven, The Winslow Boy (1948) and Meet Mr. Lucifer (1953). In 1955 he appeared in Orson Welles' Mr. Arkadin.

In 1958 he played Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall in the critically acclaimed docudrama A Night To Remember. In 1960 he appeared in the film Sink the Bismarck!.


His reputation as an effective and reliable television actor took root in the early 1960s. Between 1964-69 he was Don Henderson, the troubled conscience to tough businessman John Wilder (Patrick Wymark) in The Plane Makers and its sequel The Power Game. Watling also appeared as Doc Saxon in the 1970s series Pathfinders. He played Professor Edward Travers in the BBC science-fiction television series Doctor Who in the serials The Abominable Snowmen (1967) and The Web of Fear (1968), and reprised the role decades later in the independent Doctor Who spin-off video Downtime (1995).

His final roles were all on television, in series such as Bergerac and Heartbeat.

Personal life

Watling was married to former actress Patricia Hicks. He was the father of actresses Dilys Watling and Deborah Watling (who played the Second Doctor's companion Victoria Waterfield), the actor Giles Watling, and the sculptor Nicky Matthews. The Watlings were long-term residents at Alderton Hall, Loughton.

Selected filmography


  1. ^ "Jack Watling". BFI. 
  2. ^ a b Anthony Hayward Obituary: Jack Watling, The Independent, 24 May 2001.

External links

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