Bernard Kay (born Bernard Frederic Bemrose Kay, 23 February 1928 – 25 December 2014) was an English actor with an extensive theatre, television, and film repertoire.[1][2]

Bernard Kay
Born(1928-02-23)23 February 1928
Bolton, Lancashire, England
Died25 December 2014(2014-12-25) (aged 86)
North London, England
Years active1950–2010
Patricia Haines
(m. 1963; died 1977)


Kay began his working life as a reporter for the Bolton Evening News, and a stringer for the Manchester Guardian.[3] He was conscripted in 1946 and started acting in the army. Kay gained a scholarship to study at the Old Vic Theatre School and became a professional in 1950, as a member of the company which reopened the Old Vic after World War II.

He appeared in hundreds of TV productions including Emmerdale Farm, The Champions, The Cellar and the Almond Tree, Clayhanger, A Very British Coup, Casualty, Casualty 1909, Doctors, Z-Cars, Coronation Street, Jonathan Creek, Foyle's War and London's Burning in 1989.

He also portrayed a mutant in the Space: 1999 episode 'A Matter of Balance' - although hard to recognise under his make-up, his distinctive voice gives him away.

He portrayed Captain Stanley Lord of the SS Californian in the BBC dramatisation Trial by Inquiry: Titanic in 1967; and he played the bandit leader Cordova in the Zorro television episode "Alejandro Rides Again" in 1991 which was filmed in Madrid, Spain. Kay also gave a sympathetic performance as Korporal Hartwig in an early episode of "Colditz".

He appeared four times in the Doctor Who series in various roles, most notably as Saladin in the classic Doctor Who story The Crusade in 1965. He also appeared in the serials The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964), The Faceless Ones (1967) and Colony in Space (1971).[4] In 2006, he guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio adventure Night Thoughts.[3]

His best-known film appearance was his turn as a Bolshevik leader in Doctor Zhivago (1965).[3] (He commuted between Madrid and London to play Saladin during this stint.)


He also acted extensively on the stage. In 1952, for the Nottingham Rep, he learned, rehearsed, and played Macbeth in less than 24 hours. In 1984, he played Shylock in a British Council tour of Asia, ending in Baghdad, in the middle of the Iraq/Iran war. Other theatre includes An Inspector Calls (Garrick Theatre), Macbeth (Nottingham Playhouse), Titus Andronicus (European Tour), A Man for all Seasons (International Tour), The Merchant of Venice (International Tour), Galileo (Young Vic), Death of a Salesman (Lyric Theatre, Belfast)—for which he was nominated as best actor in the RITA awards in 1998—and Halpern and Johnson (New End Theatre). He twice appeared at the Finborough Theatre in London: in 2006 in After Haggerty and in 2010 in Dream of the Dog.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Bernard Kay was married to the actress Patricia Haines from 1963 until her death from cancer in 1977. He never quite recovered from her death. He died on Christmas Day 2014, aged 86.[6]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Bernard Kay". IMDb.
  2. ^ "Bernard Kay". BFI.
  3. ^ a b c Ezard, John (26 September 2006). "Actor Bernard Kay wins new writing award". The Guardian. London, England, UK: Guardian News and Media. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  4. ^
  5. ^ BWW News Desk (24 March 2010). "Finborough Theatre Presents DREAM OF THE DOG, Opens April 27". Broadway World. New York City, New York, USA: Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Bernard Kay obituary". Guardian. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.

External linksEdit