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Roger Caesar Marius Bernard de Delgado Torres Castillo Roberto (1 March 1918 – 18 June 1973) was a British actor. He played many roles on television, radio and in films, and had "a long history of playing minor villains" before becoming best known as the first actor to play The Master in Doctor Who (1971–73).
Roger Caesar Marius Bernard de Delgado Torres Castillo Roberto
1 March 1918
Whitechapel, London, England
|Died||18 June 1973 (aged 55)|
|Cause of death||Car crash|
|Known for||First actor to play The Master|
in Doctor Who (1971–1973)
|Spouse(s)||Olga Anthonisz; div.|
Kismet Shahani (1957–1973; his death)
Delgado was born in Whitechapel, in the East End of London; he often remarked to Doctor Who co-star and close friend Jon Pertwee that this made him a true Cockney, as he was born within the sound of the Bow bells, even though his mother was Belgian and his father was Spanish. He did not live in the East End, but was brought up in Bedford Park in west London. He attended Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, a Roman Catholic secondary school in Holland Park, and the London School of Economics for a brief period but did not complete his degree. He served in the Second World War with both the Leicestershire Regiment and the Royal Corps of Signals, attaining the rank of major.
Delgado worked extensively on the British stage, and on television, film and radio. His theatre debut was in 1939 and his first television appearance was 1948. He appeared in the BBC Television serial Quatermass II (1955), the Powell and Pressburger wartime drama Battle of the River Plate (1956), and came to wide popular attention in Britain when he played the duplicitous Spanish envoy Mendoza in the ITC Entertainment series, Sir Francis Drake, from 1961 to 1962, after which he was in much demand. An in-joke in the 1971 Doctor Who story Colony in Space refers to that role, when the Brigadier tells the Doctor not to worry as the suspected sighting of the Master "was only the Spanish Ambassador". Delgado was frequently cast as a villain, appearing in many British action-adventure TV series by ITC, including Danger Man (1961), The Saint (1962 and 1966), The Champions (1969), and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969).
Delgado made a total of 16 guest appearances in ITC shows, the most of any actor, with his last completed role being ITC's The Zoo Gang (1974). He also appeared in The Avengers (1961 and 1969), The Power Game (1966), and an ITV Play of the Week (The Crossfire, 1967). His films included The Terror of the Tongs, The Road to Hong Kong, The Mummy's Shroud and Antony and Cleopatra. He began work as The Master on Doctor Who in late 1970, his first broadcast appearance being in the January 1971 adventure Terror of the Autons. He subsequently reprised the role of the Master in many Third Doctor serials, including The Mind of Evil, The Claws of Axos, Colony in Space, The Dæmons, The Sea Devils, The Time Monster and Frontier in Space. The Master's story arc was to have ended in The Final Game, which was planned as the final story to feature Pertwee's Third Doctor, but the story was scrapped following Delgado's sudden death and replaced with Planet of the Spiders.
His first marriage was to Olga Anthonisz. The marriage ended in divorce. Delgado married Kismet Shahani in 1957 and they were together until his death in 1973. Shahani died in 2017.
Delgado died on location in Nevşehir, Turkey, whilst shooting La Cloche tibétaine (Tibetan Bell), a Franco/German television mini-series about the Yellow Expedition. During this expedition, Citroën motor cars traversed Asia in 1931–32 from Peking and Beirut. Delgado appeared in one episode of this production. He was killed, along with two Turkish film technicians, when the car in which he was travelling went off the road into a ravine. He was 55 years old.
Until 2017, there was mystery surrounding the fate of Delgado's remains. It appears that his ashes were scattered on 27 June 1973, in area RB3 (Plot 43) of the Garden of Remembrance at Mortlake Cemetery in Southwest London. He was cremated at Mortlake.
The serial he was filming in Turkey continued production and was completed after his death. The series was broadcast on French and German television in 1974–1975; Delgado can be seen in episode 4 as the minor character Paco.
|1952||Murder at Scotland Yard||George Grayson|
|1953||The Broken Horseshoe||Felix Galegos|
|The Captain's Paradise||Kalikan policeman|
|Blood Orange||Marlowe||Released as Three Stops to Murder in USA|
|1954||The Belles of St. Trinian's||Sultan's Aide||Uncredited|
|Third Party Risk||Detective Gonzales||Released as The Big Deadly Game in USA|
|1955||Storm Over the Nile||Native spy|
|1956||The Battle of the River Plate||Captain Varela, Uruguayan Navy|
|Man in the Shadow||Alberto||Uncredited|
|Mark of the Phoenix||Devron|
|1959||First Man into Space||Mexican Consul – Ramon de Guerrera|
|The Stranglers of Bombay||Bundar||Uncredited|
|1960||Sands of the Desert||Abu Nial|
|1961||The Singer Not the Song||Pedro de Cortinez|
|The Terror of the Tongs||Tang Hao|
|1962||Village of Daughters||Francisco Predati|
|The Road to Hong Kong||Jhinnah|
|Guns of Darkness||Hernandez||Voice|
|In Search of the Castaways||Patagonian Prisoner|
|1963||The Mind Benders||Dr Jean Bonvoulois||Uncredited|
|The Running Man||Spanish doctor|
|1964||Hot Enough for June||Josef|
|1965||Masquerade||Ahmed Ben Faïd||Uncredited|
|The Sandwich Man||Abdul – Carpet Seller|
|1967||The Mummy's Shroud||Hasmid|
|1969||The Assassination Bureau||Bureau Member||Uncredited|
|You Can't Win 'Em All||Capt.Enver and two others||Voice, Uncredited|
|1972||Antony and Cleopatra||Soothsayer|
|1954||The Three Musketeers||Athos||6 episodes|
|1955||St. Ives||Gautier||2 episodes|
|1955||Quatermass II||Hugh Conrad||Episode 4: The Coming|
|1956||The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel||Andre||Episode 17: The Farmer's Boy|
|1957||Assignment Foreign Legion||Lt. Lachaise||Episode 23: The Coward|
|1957||The Buccaneers||Capt. Mendoza/Don Ferdinand Esteban||3 episodes|
|1957||Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School||Monsieur Charpentier||Episode: Bunter the Ventriloquist|
|1957||O.S.S.||Luigi||Episode: Operation Big House|
|1957||The Silver Sword||The Nazi||Episode 6: Escape from Bavaria|
|1957||Sword of Freedom||Virelli||Episode: Angelica's Past|
|1957||White Hunter||Gomez||Episode: Killer Leopard|
|1958||The Adventures of Robin Hood||Ambassador||Episode: The Minstrel|
|1958||Queen's Champion||Don Jose||8 episodes|
|1959–1965||The Third Man||Luis Mendoza / Henri Banear||4 episodes|
|1959||William Tell||Luigi||Episode: The Black Brothers|
|1959||Hancock's Half Hour||Night Club Manager||Episode: Spanish Interlude (uncredited)|
|1959-60||The Four Just Men||Inspector Rossi||2 episodes|
|1960||The Splendid Spur||Sir Basil Grenville||Episode: Joan of the Tor|
|1960||Biggles||Dr. Ahmed Zakar||3 episodes: Biggles on the Nile|
|1960||The Odd Man||Bernard Berridge||3 episodes|
|1960-61||Knight Errant Limited||Branco/Oscar Lederer||2 episodes|
|1961||One Step Beyond||Capt. Santoro||Episode: The Face|
|1961||Plateau of Fear||General Perera||1 episode|
|1961||Triton||The Man with the Patch||2 episodes|
|1961||Danger Man||Von Golling||Episode: Under the Lake|
|1961-64||Ghost Squad||Holgar/Major Sayid/Ben Ali/De Souza||4 episodes|
|1961-62||Sir Francis Drake||Count Bernardino de Mendoza||Episode 4: The Coming|
|1962-66||The Saint (TV series)||Hotel Manager/Captain Rodriguez||2 episodes|
|1962||Richard the Lionheart||Laki||Episode: The Norman King|
|1962||Z-Cars||Gregori Katsybalis||Episode: Business Trip|
|1963||The Human Jungle||Wirral||Episode: The Two Edged Sword|
|1963||Espionage||Gebal||Episode: A Camel to Ride|
|1964||Crane||Barman||Episode: Murder Is Waiting|
|1964||The Protectors||Slankin||Episode: Freedom!|
|1964||Sergeant Cork||Inspector Puichard||Episode: The Case of the Great Pearl Robbery|
|1965||Sherlock Holmes||Moser||Episode: The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax|
|1966||Orlando||King Halara||2 episodes|
|1966||Court Martial||Salvatore Fratuzzi||Episode: The Liberators|
|1968||Man in a Suitcase||Ambassador||Episode: Burder of Proof|
|1968||Harry Worth||Ambassador||Episode: James Bond Where Are You?|
|1969||The Avengers||Kreer||Episode: Stay Tuned|
|1971||The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes||Silva||Episode: Madame Sara|
|1971–1973||Doctor Who||The Master||37 episodes, recurring role|
|1972||The Persuaders!||Estoban||Episode: To The Death, Baby|
|1973||Play of the Month||Officer of the Holy Brotherhood||Episode: The Adventures of Don Quixote|
|1974||La Cloche tibétaine (Tibetan Bell) (fr)||Paco||Episode 4. (Final appearance. Died during filming.)|
- Fane Saunders, Tristram (2 January 2020). "The Master of evil: Roger Delgado and the twisted history of Doctor Who's greatest foe". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
- The Making of Doctor Who, 1972, p. 31
- Harmes, Marcus (2017). Roger Delgado: I am usually referred to as the Master. Fantom Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-78196-300-5.
- Harmes, Marcus (2017). Roger Delgado: I am usually referred to as the Master. Fantom Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-78196-300-5.
- "Roger Delgado". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "The UNIT Family: Part Two". Day of the Daleks (DVD special feature). BBC. 2011. ASIN B004VRO89C.
- Harmes, Marcus (2017). Roger Delgado: I am usually referred to as the Master. Fantom Publishing. pp. 27, 47. ISBN 978-1-78196-300-5.
- "Roger Delgado obituary (The Times) - the Doctor Who Cuttings Archive".
- "Frontier in Space ★★★★".
- "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - Planet of the Spiders - Details".
- Harmes, Marcus (2017). Roger Delgado: I am usually referred to as the Master. Fantom Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-78196-300-5.
- "Roger Delgado (letter) — the Doctor Who Cuttings Archive".
- "Funeral Directors and services — Roger Delgado". Family Announcements.
- "Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews / Roger Delgado's Last Appearance: Found!". Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015.
- Harmes, Marcus (2017). Roger Delgado: I am usually referred to as the Master. Fantom Publishing. p. 213. ISBN 978-1-78196-300-5.
- "La Cloche Tibetaine". La Cloche Tibetaine.
- Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Exclusive First Look: The Final Curtain Part 1 – Doctor Who – Planet of the Spiders". YouTube. BBCClassicDoctorWho. 4 March 2011.