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Richard Franklin: Doctor Who and Emmerdale actor dies on Christmas morning | Ents & Arts News


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An actor known for his roles in Doctor Who and Emmerdale died in his sleep on Christmas morning, his family have said.

Richard Franklin was 87.

In a statement, his family said: “Richard sadly died in his sleep after fighting long term illness.

“We are deeply saddened by his loss, we will fondly remember him for his generosity, creative spirit and fantastic story telling.

“He is also well remembered outside the family for his long running career in TV and theatre where he delighted audiences of all ages. This gave him great joy and we know his legacy will last.”

Franklin played Captain Mike Yates in Doctor Who and was known for fighting off alien invasions in the BBC sci-fi series in the 1970s.

His first stint on television was as Joe Townsend in Crossroads, and over the years he would appear in many British shows including The Saint, The Borgias, and Heartbeat.

The London-born actor was also well-known for playing businessman Denis Rigg in Emmerdale from 1988-89 when it was still called Emmerdale Farm.

Franklin made 35 appearances on the ITV soap before his character was crushed to death by an unbridled bull.

Richard Franklin. Pic: Emmerdale/Shutterstock
Richard Franklin met his demise in Emmerdale after a bull killed him. Pic: Emmerdale/Shutterstock

On the big screen, Franklin had a part in the sci-fi horror Chemical Wedding, and in Star Wars Rogue One as scientist Sirro Argonne.

Aside from his acting roles, Franklin was politically active. He first stood as a candidate in the 1992 general election in Sheffield for the Liberal Democrats.

He would later stand in the 1997 election for the now-defunct Referendum Party, then ran in the 2001 election for UKIP, before establishing the Silent Majority Party.

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Tributes paid to ‘wonderful brave captain’

Katy Manning, who starred as Doctor Who companion Jo Grant, paid tribute to Franklin.

On X, she said: “Our wonderful brave Captain Yates Richard Franklin has gone on his awfully big adventure. I’m so very grateful I saw him on Friday.”

She added: “My thoughts are with his family.”

Liam Rudden, who had been given his first professional acting job by the actor, was “devastated” by the death of a “mentor and a friend”.

Posting on the late star’s X account, Mr Rudden added: “Details of funeral arrangements will be shared here when announced. Sleep well Richard.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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