Patrick George Troughton /traʊtən/ (25 March 1920 – 28 March 1987) was an English actor most widely known in his role as the second incarnation of the Doctor in the long running British science-fiction television series Doctor Who, which he played from 1966 to 1969.
Troughton was born on 25 March 1920 in Mill Hill, Middlesex, England to Alec George Troughton and Dorothy Evelyn Offord, who married in 1914 in Edmonton, and had an older brother, Alec Robert (1915–1994), and a younger sister, Mary Edith (1923–2005). Troughton attended Mill Hill School (and continued to live in Mill Hill for most of his life). He would later attend the Embassy School of Acting at Swiss Cottage, under Eileen Thorndike. After his time at the Embassy School of Acting, Troughton won a scholarship to the Leighton Rallius Studios at the John Drew Memorial Theatre on Long Island in New York, U.S.. When the Second World War broke out, he returned to Great Britain on a Belgian ship. The ship hit a mine and sank off the coast of Britain; Troughton escaped in a lifeboat. Troughton joined the Tonbridge Repertory Company in 1939 and in 1940 joined the Royal Navy. He attained the rank of Commander and captained a Motor Gun Boat on duty in the North Sea. He would wear a tea cosy on his head in cold weather.
Before Doctor Who
After the war, Troughton returned to the theatre in 1945. He worked with the Amersham Repertory Company, the Bristol Old Vic Company and the Pilgrim Players at the Mercury Theatre, Notting Hill Gate. He made his television debut in 1947. In 1948, Troughton made his cinema debut with small roles in Olivier's Hamlet, the TCF production "Escape" (one of the stars of which was William Hartnell), and a minor role as a pirate in Treasure Island appearing only during the attack on the heroes' hut. However, television was his favourite medium. In 1953 he became the first actor to play the famous folk hero Robin Hood on television, starring in six half-hour episodes broadcast from 17 March to 21 April on the BBC, and titled simply Robin Hood (Vahimagi, 42). (His grandson Sam Troughton played one of Robin's colleagues in the 2006 BBC TV Series of the same name.) Troughton's other notable film and television roles included Kettle in Chance of a Lifetime (1950), Sir Andrew Ffoulkes in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1955), Phineas in Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop (1962), Paul of Tarsus (BBC 1960, title role), Dr. Finlay's Casebook (BBC 1962, semiregular). He voiced Winston Smith in a 1965 BBC Home Service radio adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Prior to Doctor Who he appeared in numerous TV shows including, The Count of Monte Cristo, Ivanhoe, Dial 999, Danger Man, Maigret, Compact, The Third Man, Crane, Detective, Sherlock Holmes, No Hiding Place, The Saint, Armchair Theatre, The Wednesday Play, Z-Cars, Adam Adamant Lives! and Softly, Softly.
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