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Michael Francis Craze[1] (29 November 1942[2][3] - 7 December 1998[3]) played Ben Jackson, a companion of the First and Second Doctors, from The War Machines to The Faceless Ones. He played the part from 1966 to 1967 alongside both William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. His brother Peter Craze has also appeared in Doctor Who. He was the husband of Edwina Craze.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born in Cornwall, Craze went into acting quite by chance. At the age of twelve, he discovered through Boy Scout Gang Shows that he had a perfect boy soprano voice. This won him parts in The King and I and Plain and Fancy, both at Drury Lane, and Damn Yankees at the Coliseum. Once he had left school, he went into repertory and got into TV through his agent. His first television role was in a show called Family Solicitor for Granada which was followed, amongst others, by a part in ABC TV's 1960 series Target Luna (written by Malcolm Hulke and Eric Price and produced by Sydney Newman).

At the age of twenty, Craze wrote, directed and acted in a film called The Golden Head which won an award at the Commonwealth Film Festival in Cardiff. Following Doctor Who, Craze worked on several ITV productions, including one episode ("The Last Visitor") of Hammer Films' first TV series Journey to the Unknown in 1968. Other television roles included parts in Dixon of Dock Green and Z-Cars. In the 1980s Michael acted only occasionally and also managed a pub.

Graeme Harper originally asked Craze to play the role of Krelper in The Caves of Androzani, but the idea was vetoed by producer John Nathan-Turner. (DWM 279 and DWM 551)

Craze's name was used by comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams for a character in their sketch show Little Britain. "Sir Michael Craze" in the programme is a theatrical agent. Little Britain has also featured a character named after another Doctor Who companion actor, Matthew Waterhouse.

In September 1992, Craze took part in a filming session at the Longleat Doctor Who Exhibition for a planned special BBC Video release of The Tenth Planet in the New Year. He recorded two versions of the introduction — one explaining that episode four was still missing, and the other introducing the story as if it were complete — and a narration sequence for the missing episode four. However, the video release was subsequently cancelled, and Craze's recorded sequences have at the time of writing never been released commercially — not even appearing as an extra on the DVD release of the story in 2013.

Michael Craze died in 1998 after suffering a heart attack which resulted in a fatal fall down the stairs in his home. Former Doctor Who co-stars Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines were among those in attendance at his funeral.

Craze is depicted in the 2013 docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time by Robin Varley[4], who appears in two scenes — a recreation of a press photocall announcing Craze and Wills's casting, and a recreation of the filming of the regeneration scene from The Tenth Planet.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Television[edit | edit source]

Doctor Who[edit | edit source]

Other[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

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