British Thespian, Earl Cameron is no more. The man who starred in enduring films and played characters who are still fresh, died at the age of 102. He was the first black actor to play important roles in mainstream films in Britain. Not just that, the actor starred in supporting roles in James Bond and Doctor Who.
Earl passed away at his home in Warwickshire, England, The Guardian reported this.
What began as a way to earn some money, went on to become a permanent career in Earl’s life. Acting was just his way of surviving during the time of World War II, but it was under Ira Aldridge’s training that the groomed to become a better actor and started taking theatre and acting seriously.
In the early 1950’s, Britain was orthodox and Black Actors were not casted in main roles. All this changed though, with Earl being casted in one of the important roles in ‘Pool Of London’ in 1951. The film for the first time showed interracial relationship.
The 50s was also the time, when Earl played several characters in films although he was forced to play stereotypical roles. In 1955, he played a doctor in the film, Simba. The film also showed Mau Mau’s uprising in Kenya.
Though he was not often cast as the main lead, he got the chance to star in the famous James Bond Franchise film, ‘Thunderball’, opposite Sean Connery. Earl Cameron played the role of Connery’s assistant, Pinder in Bahamas.
Though films helped him establish his name, it was his stint on TV too which lend him fame. He was particularly famous for coming on the famous science fiction show, ‘Doctor who’ in two of its episodes in 1966.
As his career progressed, in his later years he would star in films like The Interpreter (2005) and Inception (2010). Helen Mirren, the Hollywood legend also appeared with him in their film together, The Queen (2006).
In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, he was also called as a pioneer by the publication. In his interview he would recall his early struggles as an actor, he had said :
“Unless it was specified that this was a part for a Black actor, they would never consider a black actor for the part. And they would never consider changing a white part to a Black part,
So that was my problem. I got mostly small parts, and that was extremely frustrating — not just for me but for other Black actors. We had a very hard time getting worthwhile roles.”
Born on 8 August, Bermuda in 1917, the actor arrived in England in 1939 as part of the British Merchant Marine. Having passed away now, he has left his children and wife, Barbara behind.