Paul Darrow

Paul Darrow

Highest Rated: Not Available

Lowest Rated: Not Available

Birthday: May 2, 1941

Birthplace: Chessington, Surrey, England, UK

British television actor Paul Darrow enjoyed lasting cult fame for his turn as the icy antihero Kerr Avon on "Blake's 7" (BBC, 1978-1981). Born Paul Valentine Birkby in Chessington, a region in the English county of Surrey, May 2, 1941, he was raised by his parents in the North London neighborhood of Mill Hill East after World War II. There, he attended the Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School before a love of the movies spurred him to enroll at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Upon graduation in 1962, he changed his surname to Darrow - after the legendary American lawyer Clarence Darrow - and began working in repertory theater. Darrow made his television debut on the crime drama "The Odd Man" (Granada Television, 1960-63) and by 1965, was a series regular on the medical series "Emergency-Ward 10" (ITV, 1957-1967), which also starred his wife, actress Janet Lees-Price, whom he married in 1966. When the series ran its course, Darrow worked steadily as a guest actor and recurring player on numerous television series, as well as a brief run as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1975 BBC series "The Legend of Robin Hood," before landing the role for which he was best known: the calculating anti-hero Avon on "Blake's 7." The science fiction drama, created by "Doctor Who" (BBC, 1963- ) writer Terry Nation, followed a group of rebels fighting against a ominous interplanetary federation. Darrow played Avon, an electronics expert and former thief turned reluctant freedom fighter; initially slated as second in command under Gareth Thomas' Roj Blake, Avon took command of the group after Thomas left the series in its second season. An unlikely hero who valued intelligence and cunning over brawn and heroics, Avon became a popular character among viewers, and remained with "Blake's" until its controversial final episode in 1981, which saw most, if not all of the main characters killed off. He then returned to guest and recurring roles on numerous series, including "Doctor Who," "Emmerdale" (ITV, 1972- ) and "Law and Order: UK" (ITV, 2009-2014), as well as series regular work on "Making News" (ITV, 1990) and "The Strangerers" (BSkyB, 2000). But Darrow also remained a steadfast champion of "Blake's," and briefly held the rights to the program for a revival that never came to pass. Undaunted, he penned a novel about his character, Avon: A Terrible Aspect in 1989, and reprised the character on several radio and audiobook spin-offs in 1988 and 2012. In his later years, Darrow was a prolific voice-over performer, lending his distinctive voice to numerous video games, audiobooks, and the UK radio station JACKfm, for which he provided short advertisements and promotional recordings. An aortic aneurysm in 2014 required the amputation of both legs, but Darrow continued with his voice-over work until his death at the age of 79 on June 3, 2019.

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 15% Battlespace Horondo The Computer (Character) - 2006
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mister Jerico Hotel clerk (Character) - 1969

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Indestructibles Narrator 2006 2011
68% 77% Doctor Who Unknown (Character) 1970 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dombey and Son James Carker# (Character) 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Blake's 7 Kerr Avon (Character) 1978-1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hammer House of Horror Unknown (Character) 1980
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Dr Hart (Character) 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet Classic Doctor Who Unknown (Character) 1970
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Saint Unknown (Guest Star) 1968