1. William Henry Hartnell , also known as Billy Hartnell or Bill Hartnell, was an English actor.
2. Hartnell played the first incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, from 1963 to 1966.
3. He was also known for his roles as Sergeant Grimshaw, the title character of the first Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant in 1958, and Company Sergeant Major Percy Bullimore in the sitcom The Army Game from 1957 until 1958, and again in 1960.
4. Hartnell was born in St Pancras, London, England, the only child of Lucy Hartnell, an unmarried mother.
5. Hartnell never discovered the identity of his father despite efforts to trace him.
6. Hartnell entered the theatre in 1925 He appeared in numerous Shakespearian plays, including The Merchant of Venice .
7. This play was written by Robert Neilson Stephens and E. Lyall Swete.
8. Coward berated Hartnell in front of cast and crew for his unprofessionalism, made him personally apologise to everyone and then sacked him.
9. Michael Anderson, who was the First Assistant Director, took over the part and was credited as “Mickey Anderson”.
10. Hartnell continued to play comic characters until he was cast in the robust role of Sergeant Ned Fletcher in The Way Ahead . From then on his career was defined by playing mainly policemen, soldiers, and thugs.
11. He also appeared as Will Buckley – another military character – in the film The Mouse That Roared , again with Sellers.
12. His first regular role on television was as Sergeant Major Percy Bullimore in The Army Game from 1957 to 1961.
13. Again, although it was a comedy series, he found himself cast in a “tough-guy” role.
14. After living at 51 Church Street, Isleworth, next door to Hugh Blaker, the Hartnells lived on the Thames Ditton Island.
15. He lived in later life at Sheephurst Lane in Marden, Kent.