The actor Geoffrey Palmer has died at the age of 93
Geoffrey Palmer was best known for his appearances in sitcoms including Butterflies, As Time Goes By and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin,
Palmer appeared in 5 episodes of Doctor Who. His first appearance was opposite the third Doctor in the 1970 story Doctor Who And The Silurians. He played Edward Masters, the Permanent Under-Secretary to the Minister of Science who became infected with the Silurian virus and brought it to London.
Two years later he appeared in the story The Mutants playing The Administrator who was assassinated on the instructions of The Marshal
His last appearance came over 30 years later in Voyage of the Damned, becoming one of a few select actors to have appeared in both the original and the revived series. He played Captain Hardaker, the captain of the space cruise liner Titanic.
Geoffrey Palmer was born in London. After his National Service, he briefly studied Shipping Management at Streatham Technical College. He worked as an accountant before his girlfriend persuaded him to join the local amateur dramatics society. Eventually, he became assistant stage manager at Croydon's Grand Theatrespending several years touring.
In the 1950's he started appearing on television where he would be a fixture for the next forty years. Early appearances included a recurring role in The Army Game alongside first Doctor William Hartnell. He played a property agent in the acclaimed Kitchen sick drama Cathy Come Home.
A major break came when he appeared in John Osborne's West of Suez at the Royal Court with Ralph Richardson. He acted in several major productions at the Royal Court and for the National Theatre Company and was directed by Laurence Olivier in J. B. Priestley's Eden End. He found the play and the experience tedious preferring the more immediate medium of television.
Roles in the sixties included Family Solicitor, Garry Halliday, Bootsie and Snudge, The Avengers, Emergency-Ward 10, Z Cars, George and the Dragon, Softly Softly: Task Force, The Expert and Out of the Unknown
In the 1970's he became famous for his many roles in sitcoms. His two most famous being the hapless brother-in-law of Reggie Perrin in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, and the long-suffering Ben Parkinson in Carla Lane's Butterflies. He had a memorable appearance in the Fawlty Towers episode The Kipper and the Corpse, playing the Doctor determined to have his breakfast despite a body being found in the hotel.
Roles in the 1980s included parts in Hot Metal, Executive Stress, The Kenny Everett Television Show and Look at the State We're In!
For over a decade he played Lionel Hardcastle opposite Judi Dench in the sitcom As Time Goes By
He continued acting well into his eighties, playing the Head Geographer in the 2014 film Paddington. He is due to appear in the forthcoming Roald Dahl film An Unquiet Life, as Dahl’s Repton headmaster Geoffrey Fisher.
He was made an OBE in 2004 for services to drama.
He is survived by his wife Sally Green, with whom he had a daughter Harriet, and a son, Charles, who has directed six episodes of Doctor Who.