Earl Cameron, Black Luminary in British Film and TV, Dies at 102

Cameron is best known for “Doctor Who” and “Thunderball”

Earl Cameron
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Earl Cameron, one of the first Black actors to be cast in major roles in British films, has died at the age of 102.

His agent confirmed to TheWrap that Cameron died in his sleep on Friday.

“Our family have been overwhelmed by the outpourings of love and respect we have received at the news of our father’s passing,” his children said in a statement obtained by The Guardian. “As an artist and as an actor he refused to take roles that demeaned or stereotyped the character of people of colour. He was truly a man who stood by his moral principles and was inspirational.”

He was born in Bermuda in 1917, having come to the U.K. in 1939 after serving in the British Merchant Navy During World War II. When he arrived in the U.K., he began acting in stage productions before landing his first film role in 1951’s “Pool of London,” which is believed to have been the first British film to portray an interracial relationship. He played the role of Johnny Lambert.

He went on to appear in TV series like “Doctor Who” in 1966, and “ITV Playhouse” and “ITV Play of the Week” in the 1960s, as well as the series “Jackanory” from 1971 to 1975.

In 1965, he played James Bond’s assistant Pinder in “Thunderball.” He later went on to appear in films like 1955’s “Simba” as Karanja, as well as in 1965’s “Guns at Batasi,” ’56’s “Safari” as Jeroge, and ’76’s “The Message.”

In recent years, Cameron has had roles in films like 2010’s “Inception” and in 2005’s “The Interpreter.” His most recent role was in the 2013 short “Up on the Roof.”