Louis Mahoney death: Doctor Who actor and anti-racism campaigner dies aged 81

Clémence Michallon
·2-min read
Louis Mahoney on 15 January 1970: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Louis Mahoney on 15 January 1970: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Actor Louis Mahoney, who starred in shows such as Doctor Who and Fawlty Towers while campaigning against racism, has died at the age of 81.

His management agency, Waring and McKenna, shared the news on Tuesday.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our wonderful client, Louis Mahoney,” the agency tweeted.

“Louis paved the way for many actors who followed: a lifelong activist and champion of anti-racism.

“His warmth and good humour will be sorely missed. A celebration of his life will follow.”

Mahoney was one of a few performers to appear both in the original run of Doctor Who as well as in the programme’s revival.

He starred in the 1970s episodes “Planet of Evil” and “Frontier in Space”, returning in 2007 as Old Billy in the episode “Blink”.

The actor also appeared in the 1975 Fawlty Towers episode “The Germans”. His other credits include the series Runaway Bay and Oscar Charlie, as well as the 2013 film Captain Phillips. Recently, Mahoney played in an episode of BBC One's The Split.

Born in The Gambia in 1938, Mahoney originally moved to the UK to study medicine, before pursuing an acting career instead.

Mahoney was a former vice president of the Equity trade union for performers, which honoured him on Tuesday with a message that read: “We are saddened to learn of the death of former Vice President Louis Mahoney. Louis was a passionate activist on behalf of @EquityUK and led the union’s fight against racism and apartheid for many years.”

Actor Peter Egan also shared a tribute to Mahoney, writing: “So sad to hear of the death of a good friend the wonderful actor #LouisMahoney an exceptional actor and active member of Equity and a well known resident of Hampstead. He will be missed... my condolences to his family.”

The Royal Court Theatre in London tweeted: “We’re so sad to hear of the passing of Louis Mahoney. A brilliant actor and the most wonderful human being; a devoted activist and extraordinary performer, he will be sorely missed.”

Read more

Tributes to ‘genius’ M*A*S*H composer Johnny Mandel after death at 94

Carl Reiner’s son Rob Reiner leads tributes to late comedy pioneer

Carl Reiner dead aged 98