Doctor Who and The Demon Headmaster actor Terrence Hardiman has died aged 86
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Terrence Hardiman, who is known for his roles in Doctor Who and The Demon Headmaster, has died at the age of 86.
News of Hardiman's death was confirmed by his agent, Scott Marshall Partners, following a lengthy career as an actor on the stage and screen.
The agent announced the news 'with great sadness', describing Hardiman as a 'beloved client and much-loved stage and screen actor'.
Hardiman was born in 1937 in east London, and went on to study at Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge before becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In the mid-90s, he put on a memorable and chilling performance in The Demon Headmaster TV series, based on the children’s books of the same name by Gillian Cross.
Hardiman's character hid behind dark glasses, but would remove them to reveal piercing green eyes that he used to hypnotise his victims.
Fans were delighted in 2019 when he reprised his role for a cameo in a reboot of the series, and many have remembered him fondly as they paid tribute following the news of his death.
One wrote: "Goddammit, we've lost Terence Hardiman. I honestly can't think of anyone who could have played the Demon Headmaster better."
Another fan commented: "Terrence Hardiman has died. He terrified an entire generation of children in The Demon Headmaster. What an icon."
"Awfully sad news about Terrence Hardiman, who has passed away aged 86," wrote a third. "Terrified a generation as the Demon Headmaster, but could not have been more of a good-natured gentleman in real life."
Hardiman spoke to Radio Times in 2019 about his role in The Demon Headmaster, saying: "I thought, ''What a horrible character. How lovely. A real villain of a piece. Why not?'''
He went on to explain that he 'started to be recognised in the street', especially as he lived near schools in North-West London at the time.
"And there were people – youngsters – looking at me, and shouting out at me, and making fun of me, which is very healthy. It stopped me being too grand!
"But then the slightly more remarkable thing, I found, was that it wasn't just children who were watching. It was parents and other people, too," he said.
Throughout his career, Hardiman also earned credits in television shows including The Crown, Wallander, Prime Suspect and Doctor Who, in which he played the character of Hawthorne in the story The Beast Below.
Away from the camera, Hardiman was responsible for voicing 150 audiobooks.
Hardiman is survived by his wife Rowena and his two children.