Thursday, 20 January 2011

Britain says "Happy birthday" to an old actor called Tom Baker and remembers his 'Rasputin' and 'Dr Who'

Tom Baker, the actor, is 77 today.

Things you possibly didn't know about Tom, that he :

* was born in Liverpool, where his mother was a cleaner and his father a sailor who was rarely at home.

* left school at 15 to become a Roman Catholic monk and remained in the monastic life for six years and left after losing his faith.

* did his 'National Service' in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1955-57 and at the same time he took up acting as a hobby.

* was part of Laurence Olivier's 'National Theatre Company' and got his first big film break in 1971 with the role of Rasputin in the film 'Nicholas and Alexandra' after Olivier recommended him for the part :

* played in the tv serial 'Doctor Who' as 'The Doctor' moving through time and space from 1974 to 1981 and quickly made the part his own with his eccentric style of dress and speech and in particular, his trademark long scarf and fondness for 'jelly babies'.

* in a 2005 survey of British adults, found his voice to be the fourth most recognisable after the Queen, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.

* in 2006, had his voice used by BT for spoken delivery of text messages to land line phones and recorded 11,593 phrases, containing every sound in the English language for use by the text-to-speech service.

* has his voice recorded at London's 'Natural History Museum', narrating commentary to some of the exhibits which support Darwin's theory of natural selection.

Dr Who tribute :

Interviewed 1981 at the end of his stint as 'The Doctor' :

Dr Who with his dog K9 :

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