Ed Bishop

Ed Bishop

LONDON--Ed Bishop, an aimless New Yorker who found decades of success in radio, TV, the theater and films after relocating across the Atlantic, died here June 8th, just three days shy of his 73rd birthday. Reports say he may have contracted a fatal virus while undergoing hospital treatment, but the exact cause of death has not been given. MSTies from the KTMA days will recall his work as the voice of Captain Blue in the TV series "Captain Scarlet," episodes of which were compiled into a video shown in episode K02- REVENGE OF THE MYSTERONS.

Born George Victor Bishop in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of a banker, and was expected to become one himself. He grew up in Peekskill, N.Y, and graduated from Peekskill High School. He then attended Courtland State Teachers' College, but soon dropped out. Bishop joined the Army in 1952, serving working as an announcer and disc jockey with the Armed Forces Radio Service in Newfoundland. While there, he joined a local amateur theatrical company and got his first taste of acting. Discharged from the Army in 1954, he again aimed himself toward a banking career, studying Business Administration at Boston University. But again he found himself unsuited to the work. In 1956, against his parents' wishes, he switched majors to drama, graduating in 1959. He then won a Fulbright Grant to continue his acting studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. It was the turning point in his career.

In London, his career took off, and Bishop became a popular choice when casting directors were looking for an American actor. He found success first with TV and theatrical work, and then in films (his first movie was a minor role in Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita" (1961).

He continued to work steadily in the theater, and film roles continued: "The Mouse In The Moon" (1963), "You Only Live Twice" (1967), "Battle Beneath The Earth" (1968). In Kubrick's epic "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968), you can spot him as the pilot of the ship that lands on the moon.

Bishop is perhaps best known as the tough, dedicated SHADO Commander Ed Straker in Gerry Anderson's 1969 series "UFO."

Among his more recent roles: "Target" (1978), "SOS Titanic" (1979), "Saturn 3" (1980), "Silver Dream Racer" (1980) and "The Lords Of Discipline" (1983), and was seen on television in episodes of "The Two Ronnies," "French & Saunders," "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" and "Whoops Apocalypse!" In the '90s, he took fewer roles, but did occasional work as late as 2001.

Bishop is survived by his wife, Jane, and three daughters and his first wife.