Actors

15 Candid Truths About Sylvester McCoy

1. He was born Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith in Dunoon, on the Cowal peninsula, to an Irish mother and English father, killed in action in World War II a couple of months before his son was born.

2. After he left school he moved to London where he worked in the insurance industry for 5 years.

3. He came to prominence as a member of the experimental theatre troupe “The Ken Campbell Roadshow”.

4. His best known act was as a stuntman character called “Sylveste McCoy” in a play entitled An Evening with Sylveste McCoy , where his stunts included putting a fork and nails up his nose and stuffing ferrets down his trousers, and setting his head on fire.

5. As a joke, the programme notes listed Sylveste McCoy as played by “Sylveste McCoy” and, after a reviewer missed the joke and assumed that Sylveste McCoy was a real person, Kent-Smith adopted this as his stage name.

6. Notable television appearances before he gained the role of the Doctor included roles in Vision On , an O-Man in Jigsaw and Tiswas.

7. He also appeared in Eureka, often suffering from the inventions of Wilf Lunn and as Wart, assistant to StarStrider in the CITV series of the same name.

8. McCoy also portrayed, in one-man shows on the stage, two famous movie comedians: Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton.

9. McCoy also had a small role in the 1979 film Dracula opposite Laurence Olivier and Donald Pleasence, and has sung with the Welsh National Opera.

10. McCoy became the Seventh Doctor after taking over the lead role in Doctor Who in 1987 from Colin Baker.

11. He remained on the series until it ended in 1989, ending with Survival .

12. As Baker declined the invitation to film the regeneration scene, McCoy briefly wore a wig and appeared, face-down, as the 6th Doctor.

13. He played the Doctor in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time, and again in 1996, appearing in the beginning of the Doctor Who television movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

14. In his first series, McCoy, a comedy actor, portrayed the character with a degree of clown-like humour, but script editor Andrew Cartmel soon changed that when fans argued that the character were becoming increasingly lightweight.

15. The Seventh Doctor developed into a much darker figure than any of his earlier incarnations, manipulating people like chess pieces and always seeming to be playing a deeper game.

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