In Memoriam: Renowned Actor Richard Franklin, Known for Doctor Who and Emmerdale, Passes Away at 87
Christmas Day brought the poignant news of the passing of actor Richard Franklin, celebrated for his iconic roles in Doctor Who and Emmerdale. The 87-year-old actor, who had been battling a long-term illness, peacefully departed “in his sleep” on the morning of Christmas, as confirmed by a family spokesperson.
Expressing deep sorrow over the loss, the family spokesperson remarked, “We are deeply saddened by his loss, we will fondly remember him for his generosity, creative spirit, and fantastic storytelling. He is also well remembered outside the family for his long-running career in TV and theatre where he delighted audiences of all ages. This gave him great joy, and we know his legacy will last.”
The news was shared on social media by Franklin’s friend, Liam Rudden, on behalf of the family. Rudden conveyed, “It is with great sadness that the family of Richard Franklin has asked me to share news of his passing, early this morning. Richard passed away peacefully in his sleep.”
Rudden continued, “Details of funeral arrangements will be shared here when announced. Sleep well Richard. One thing I loved about managing Richard’s social media was reading him your messages. He was always surprised and humbled by the love shown to him and it was very much reciprocated. That love is so evident right now and I’m sure will be of great comfort to his family.”
Richard Franklin commenced his professional acting career after joining the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1963. His television breakthrough occurred in 1969 with a role in the soap Crossroads, followed by an impactful portrayal as Capt Mike Yates in Doctor Who, marking the Jon Pertwee era as The Time Lord.
Franklin’s versatile career included appearances in various TV shows such as The Doctors, Blake’s 7, and Heartbeat, as well as a memorable role as businessman Denis Rigg in Emmerdale. Beyond television, he graced the West End stage, notably in the role of Corin in As You Like It at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1967.
In addition to his on-screen contributions, Franklin’s legacy extended to the Star Wars universe, where he played Death Star Engineer Sirro Argonne in the 2016 film Rogue One.
Statement from Richard’s family:
“Richard sadly died in his sleep after fighting long term illness. We are deeply saddened by his loss, we will fondly remember him for his generosity, creative spirit and fantastic story telling.’
Pic Credit Líam Rudden Media pic.twitter.com/s4Q0tOpjEa
— Richard Franklin (@PlanetFranklin) December 25, 2023
Tributes poured in from fellow actors, with Katy Manning, who appeared in Doctor Who as Jo Grant, expressing her gratitude and sorrow: “Our wonderful brave captain Yates #RichardFranklin has gone on his awfully big adventure. I’m so very grateful I saw him on Friday.”
Details regarding funeral arrangements are yet to be announced, leaving fans and the entertainment industry to reflect on the lasting impact of Richard Franklin’s remarkable career.