The Veteran actor Bernard Cribbins, who’s perhaps best known for his work on Doctor Who and classic family movies like The Railway Children, has passed away aged 93. The sad news was shared by his family and later confirmed by his agent, Gavin Barker Associates, in a statement that paid tribute to Cribbins’ long and storied career.
“His career spanned seven decades with such diverse work ranging from films like The Railway Children and the Carry On series, hit ’60’s song Right Said Fred, a notorious guest on ‘Fawlty Towers’ and narrating The Wombles,” the statement read.
“He worked well into his ’90’s, recently appearing in Doctor Who and the CBeebies series Old Jack’s Boat. He lost his wife of 66 years, Gill, last year,” it continued. “Bernard’s contribution to British entertainment is without question. He was unique, typifying the best of his generation, and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.” Across the internet, there was an outpouring of grief from fans around the globe.
Cribbins’ appearance in Doctor Who has become rather iconic, with his role as Wilf in the sci-fi series leading to one of the most emotional moments in the franchise.
The actor starred alongside David Tennant’s Doctor, and Catherine Tate’s Donna, with a particular highlight being the Christmas special two-parter titled The End of Time.
Social media has been flooded with tributes to the beloved British actor, with many sharing their favourite Bernard Cribbins roles.
Oh no. 😪RIP to another legend. https://t.co/pRd8sUGAkI
— Max Farrow (@Farrow91) July 28, 2022
Bernard Cribbins has died at the age of 93. From the Wombles to Wilf in Doctor Who he entertained generation after generation. A genuine national treasure #RIPBernardCribbins pic.twitter.com/PrwxKv6kpJ
— lizo mzimba (@lizo_mzimba) July 28, 2022
Cribbins got his start in the West End, but a career in TV series and movies beckoned, and he appeared in multiple Carry-On movies as well as the Doctor Who movie, Invasion of the Daleks. Cribbins also lent his voice to The Wombles from 1973 to 1975, serving as the series narrator.
Bernard Cribbins – one of the greatest Doctor Who companions of all time and an absolute treasure. RIP. pic.twitter.com/Rtz3Gyae1S
— Ewan Moore (@EMoore_) July 28, 2022
rip Bernard Cribbins aka Wilfred Mott aka one of the best characters to grace Doctor Who
"Do your best and be grateful for every single job" pic.twitter.com/dWkruHSdos
— river medway (@river_medway) July 28, 2022
Has there been a man who's better embodied the warmth, timelessness and joy of Doctor Who?
Totally heartbroken. Rest in peace Bernard Cribbins – you'll be so incredibly missed. pic.twitter.com/mDgOCT6TKl
— Connor Johnston (@CFJohnston17) July 28, 2022
In the later Noughties, he enjoyed a career resurgence playing fan favourite Wilfred Mott – the grandfather of Donna (Catherine Tate) – on Doctor Who. Cribbins returned as Wilfred alongside David Tennant and Tate to film Doctor Who special 60th-anniversary episode, which will air in 2023. Cribbins remains the only actor to have played the Doctor’s companion in both the TV continuity and the movies.