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Richard Franklin, best known for his portrayal of Captain Mike Yates in Jon Pertwee’s series Doctor Whodied at age 87.
The actor’s death Monday morning was confirmed by Liam Rudden, a friend of Franklin’s who ran his social media accounts. Rudden shared a family declaration that the late actor had “died in his sleep after battling a long illness.”
“We are deeply saddened by his loss, we will remember him fondly for his generosity, his creative spirit and his fantastic story,” the statement continued. “He is also remembered outside the family for his long career in television and theater, where he delighted audiences of all ages. It brought him great joy and we know his legacy will endure.
Rudden continued to share tributes on Franklin’s Page, sharing that Franklin “would have loved him to be trendy” and writing, “One thing I loved about managing Richard’s social media was reading him your messages.” He was always surprised and touched by the love shown to him and it was very reciprocal. That love is so evident right now and I’m sure it will be a great comfort to his family.
The longtime stage actor made his television debut in an episode of the 1966 British series. Dixon of Green Dockbefore his on-screen appearance in a nine-episode ITV soap series Crossroads. It would continue to appear in The doctors, Little woman mini-series, and The Borgias in one-off appearances, alongside more recent film appearances, notably in the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
But he would be best known for his turn as a regular on Emmerdale Farm, where he played Denis Rigg for two years. He will also appear as UNIT Captain Mike Yates in Doctor Who from 1971 to 1974 during Pertwee’s run, a character he would return to again and again for Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time and other derivative media.
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