BBC News

Waiting for God star Graham Crowden dies aged 87

image captionCrowden played a sprightly retirement home resident in Waiting For God

Scottish actor Graham Crowden, known for his work on British radio, film and TV has died at the age of 87, his agent has confirmed.

The actor is perhaps best known for his roles in BBC serials A Very Peculiar Practice and Waiting for God.

Crowden turned down the role of Doctor Who after the departure of Jon Pertwee, eventually playing a villain opposite Tom Baker in The Horns of Nimon.

Crowden's agent Sue Grantley said he was "a lovely, lovely man".

"We will all miss him enormously," she added.

Born in Edinburgh, Crowden's career began on the stage and he took the role of The Player King in the original performance of Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

He also played the mad scientist Doctor Millar in Lindsay Anderson's Mick Travis film trilogy.

image captionCrowden (r) turned down the role of the Doctor

In 1974, Crowden refused the lead role in Doctor Who because he did not want to commit himself to one part, and Tom Baker was cast as the Timelord instead.

Five years later, Crowden appeared as the villainous Soldeed in four episodes, opposite Baker.

Between 1990 and 1994, he starred with Stephanie Cole in the BBC comedy series Waiting for God, as a sprightly resident of a retirement home.

His TV work continued and in 2001, he had a guest role in Midsomer Murders.

In 2005, Crowden starred in the BBC Radio 4 sci-fi comedy Nebulous as Sir Ronald Rolands and he made his final TV appearance in 2008 as Sir John Sackville in Foyle's War.

Crowden is survived by Phyllida, his wife of 58 years, and four children.