Michael Jayston 1935 - 2024Bookmark and Share

Monday, 5 February 2024 - Reported by Marcus
Michael Jayston

The actor Michael Jayston has died at the age of 88.

Michael Jayston is best known to Doctor Who fans for playing the Valeyard in all fourteen episodes of the 23rd season The Trial of a Timelord. The script describes the character as an amalgamation of the Doctor's darker sides between his twelfth and final incarnations.

Jayston played the character opposite the Sixth Doctor as played by Colin Baker in the series that aired in the autumn of 1986. He later recreated the character in many Big Finish audios. 

Colin Baker today paid tribute to his old colleague

My dear dear friend, Michael Jayston has left us today. I am absolutely devastated. He was warm witty, clever naughty and a very fine actor & wonderful man. My thoughts and love go to his wife Ann and daughter Katie. Heartbroken Goodbye my friend

Michael Jayston was born in the town of West Bridgeford in the English Midlands. He trained as an accountant before switching careers and enrolling in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

One of his best-known movie appearances was as Tzar Nicholas II in the film Nicholas and Alexander, the film that featured an unknown Tom Baker as the monk Rasputin, a role that helped Baker to win the role of The Doctor. 

He was a familiar face on television throughout the last 60 years. His first appearance was in 1962 in the series Suspence.  By 1970 he was taking leading roles playing Macbeth alongside Barbara Leigh-Hunt. He played Mr Rochester in the 1973 version of Jane Eyre and Peter Guillam in the acclaimed 1979 version of the spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

In 1975 he headed the cast of a detective series playing the title character Quiller. 

He has appeared in a number of long-running series including Coronation Street, EastEnders, Only Fools and Horses, The Bill, Heartbeat Casualty and Midsomer Murders. 

Michael Jayston's death was announced earlier today. A statement on behalf of his family said:

Michael Jayston sadly passed away this morning after a short illness.

Those who knew Michael will know he was full of love, laughs and happiness. He adored meeting his fans all over the world.