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'James Bond' and 'Doctor Who' actor Earl Cameron has died

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Earl Cameron, one of the first black actors to establish a successful career in British film and television, has died aged 102.

The Bermuda-born actor, who lived with his wife in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, died in his sleep on Friday (July 3), according to family friend Martin Beckett.

“He’s a great character, very spiritual, very modest, we’re going to miss him,” Beckett said.

Known for starring in Doctor Who and the James Bond movie Thunderball, Cameron arrived in the UK in 1939 after joining the British merchant navy.

He first appeared on screen in the 1951 movie Pool Of London, which at the time was a rare starring role for a black actor.

Earl Cameron
Earl Cameron during 10th Annual Bermuda International Film Festival. CREDIT: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage

In 2009, Cameron was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

His final acting credit saw him appear in the 2010 movie Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page.

Beckett said that Cameron “had sheltered himself because of Covid and had not really been keen on going out, he had chest problems.”

He added: “He would never take on roles that demeaned people of colour… he was often subject of a lot of racial prejudice, but he never really got angry about it. He pitied people that couldn’t accept him.”

Homeland star David Harewood called Cameron “a total legend” as he paid tribute to the actor.

The official Doctor Who Twitter account posted: “We’re sad to report the death of Earl Cameron, who starred in ‘The Tenth Planet’ and was one of the first black actors to forge a successful career in British film and television.”

The official James Bond account wrote: “We are sorry to hear that Earl Cameron, who played Pinder in Thunderball, has passed away at the age of 102. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

The Foreigner actor Ray Fearon tweeted: “Myself and the Great Earl Cameron on his 100th Birthday unveiling a plaque to Ira Aldridge in Coventry. RIP Great Sir. Thank you For paving a way for us here!”

See more tributes to Cameron below:

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