Michael Jayston as the Valeyard in Doctor Who: The Trial of a Time Lord

‘Only Fools and Horses’ and ‘Doctor Who’ actor Michael Jayston dies

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British actor Michael Jayston has died after a short illness at the age of 88, according to his agency.

David Jason and Michael Jayston

Born Michael James on 29 October 1935, Jayston is notable for many acting roles. He played Nicholas II of Russia in the 1971 film Nicholas and Alexandra and appeared in the 1996 Only Fools and Horses episode Time on Our Hands as Raquel’s father, James.

His many television appearances included playing a dark incarnation of the Doctor, the Valeyard, in all fourteen episodes of the 1986 Doctor Who serial The Trial of a Time Lord. He reprised the character in in many Big Finish audio adventures.

A former accountant, he trained in acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Jayston began his stage career in 1962 and performed at the Bristol Old Vic and at Stratford-upon-Avon. He starred as Captain Von Trapp in the 1981 stage revival of The Sound of Music in London alongside Petula Clark as Maria. He took on Shakespearean roles for television such as Macbeth in Macbeth, Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice and Edmund in King Lear.

Sixth Doctor actor Colin Baker and companion actresses Bonnie Langford and Nicola Brant, who starred with him in The Trial of a Time Lord and Big Finish audio adventures, paid tribute to Jayston after learning of his passing.