Pioneer black actor Earl Cameron, who appeared in Doctor Who and Thunderball, dies at 102

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Pioneer actor Earl Cameron CBE, who was one of the first successful black British actors, died at the age of 102.

Best known for his roles in Doctor Who, Thunderball and Inception, born in Bermuda, Cameron made his first screen appearance in the 1951 Pool of London.

Cameron lived in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, with his wife Barbara and also leaves behind his six children.

A family friend, Martin Beckett, has confirmed that the actor has died, reports the BBC.

Pioneer actor Earl Cameron CBE, who was one of the first successful black British actors, died at the age of 102.

Beckett said, “He took shelter because of Covid and didn’t really want to go out, he had chest problems.

“He is a great character, very spiritual, very modest, he will be missed.

The pioneer actor was born in 1917 in Pembroke, Bermuda, and began his career in the British merchant navy.

He found himself trapped in Britain before the start of the Second World War and abandoned before the start of his acting career in 1951.

Some of Cameron's most beloved roles came in Doctor Who (photo), in which he became the first black actor to play an astronaut, and the James Bond film Tunderball

Some of Cameron’s most beloved roles came in Doctor Who (photo), in which he became the first black actor to play an astronaut, and the James Bond film Tunderball

His main role in Pool of London makes him only the fourth black actor to have played a leading role in a British film.

The film was also revolutionary because it was the first British film to portray a mixed race relationship.

Cameron’s next major role came in the 1955 film Simba, followed closely by a role in the film Safari.

Having been considered for a role in the James Bond film Dr No, he quickly landed a role as assistant to Pinder 007 in Thunderball.

Cameron was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 and inducted into the Screen Nation Hall of Fame in Great Britain in 2016

Cameron was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 and inducted into the Screen Nation Hall of Fame in Great Britain in 2016

His career has not only had an impact on cinema, as Cameron has also forged a brilliant career on television.

A highlight of his television career came in his appearance in Doctor Who. Appearing in The Tenth Planet, Cameron became the first black actor to play an astronaut, and in 2017 he also became only the third actor to appear in the series to reach the age of 100.

Cameron’s final actor credit came as a minor role in the 2010 film Inception, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page.

In 2009, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

The veteran actor was inducted into the Screen Nation Hall of Fame in Great Britain in 2016 and he also received an honorary doctorate in 2013 from the University of Warwick.

Speaking to the Guardian in 2017, Cameron said, “I have never seen myself as a pioneer. It was only later, looking back, that I thought I was.

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