Michael Ripper

Michael Ripper, veteran of more than 100 films died June 28, 2000, in England. He was 87. He appeared as David Hawkins, the town pubkeeper, in episode 905- THE DEADLY BEES. He was also seen as a cardplayer in episode 111- MOON ZERO TWO.

Born in Portsmouth, England in 1913, his father ran an amateur dramatics company and was also a speech therapist. As a boy, Michael often took part in diction and public speaking competitions.He was 16 when he won a scholarship to a school for dramatic art. In 1935, he moved into films as an actor and assistant director for a production company based at England's Walton Studios. He continued to work in the theater during World War II, but began to concentrate on cinema work in the early 1950s after an operation for a thyroid condition left him unable to project his voice sufficiently for the stage. "I didn't really sound like a human being," he recalled in an interview, "so all I could do was horror."

Sci-fi/horror fans will note that he made four films for the Hammer Studio, including The Brides of Dracula (1960), The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964) and The Plague of the Zombies (1966). Ripper also had roles in films such as Oliver Twist (1948); Appointment in London (1952), The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954), Reach for the Sky (1956) and The Spy who Came in From the Cold (1965). His final role was in 1978's Prince and the Pauper. He continued to work on television in the 1970s; he played Thomas, the chauffeur, in the British series Butterflies and also appeared in Worzel Gummidge, with John Pertwee. Away from the screen, he enjoyed photography, woodwork and classical music. He was married three times and is survived by his third wife Cecilia and by a daughter from the first marriage.