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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

#SaveTheDay Countdown: The Third Doctor--Jon Pertwee

As a countdown to the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Doctor
Who, TARDIStyle will be showcasing one Doctor a day.

John Devon Roland Pertwee was born 7 July 1919 in Chelsea, London. He was of Huguenot ancestry, the surname being an Anglicisation of "Perthuis," which originated from "de Perthuis de Laillevault." He was the son of Roland Pertwee, a noted screenwriter and actor and was a distant cousin of Bill Pertwee. His parents separated shortly after his birth, and his father remarried and he did not have a relationship with him after that.

Pertwee attended Frensham Heights School in Surrey, Sherborne School in Dorset, and also several other school from which he was expelled. After, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but was expelled from there as well, after refusing to play a Greek "wind" (I don't know what that is...) in his lessons. Also, he was accused of writing about the teachers on the bathroom walls. What a baddass!

It was during his time in the Navy
that we woke up from what must
have been a crazy night drinking 
with a cobra tattooed on his arm,
 not remembering getting it done.
Pertwee was in the Royal Navy, and during WWII, he worked in the Naval Intelligence Division. There, he worked with Ian Fleming (the author of James Bond) and reported directly to Winston Churchill himself. In a 1994 interview published in 2013, he says,
I did all sorts. Teaching commandos how to use escapology equipment, compasses in brass buttons, secret maps in white cotton handkerchiefs, pipes you could smoke that also fired a .22 bullet. All sorts of incredible things.
He sailed on the HMS Hood and was transferred off the ship just before the ship sank, and all the crew perished.

Directly after the war, he quickly made a name for himself in radio comedy. He also played multiple stage roles, including Lycus in the 1963 London production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He appeared in many films as well, such as Ladies Who Do. He had no trouble finding television roles as well.

He played the Third Doctor from 1970-74.

Jon married twice, first in 1955 to Jean Marsh. They divorced five years later. Also in 1960, he married Ingeborg Rhoesa. They had two children, Dariel (1961) and Sean (1964). Both sons became actors. He stayed with Rhoesa until his death from a heart attack on 20 May 1996 at 76 years of age. This was just before the UK release of the 1996 Doctor Who telemovie, which was dedicated to him. He had just finished work on his book Doctor Who: I am the Doctor - Jon Pertwee's Final Memoir on 8 May 1996 (which was my second birthday!) The book was published that November.

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