Renowned for his portrayal of Captain Mike Yates in the era of Jon Pertwee’s Doctor Who, Richard Franklin has passed away at the age of 87. Liam Rudden, a close friend overseeing Franklin’s social media, officially confirmed the actor’s demise on Monday morning. Franklin, who had been grappling with a prolonged illness, peacefully passed away in his sleep.
In a heartfelt family statement conveyed by Rudden, the late actor was commemorated for his benevolence, imaginative prowess, and captivating storytelling. The statement expressed deep sorrow over the loss, highlighting Franklin’s enduring legacy in both television and theater, where he delighted audiences spanning various age groups throughout his illustrious career.
Rudden, reflecting on Franklin’s online presence, shared additional tributes on the actor’s dedicated page. He noted Franklin’s hypothetical appreciation for trending online and emphasized the actor’s consistent surprise and humility in response to the affectionate messages from fans. The outpouring of love from admirers, both anticipated and reciprocated, serves as a source of solace for Franklin’s grieving family.
The esteemed stage actor initially graced television screens in 1966 with a Dixon of Dock Green episode, marking his TV debut. Franklin later gained recognition through a pivotal nine-episode stint on the ITV soap Crossroads. His diverse television career included appearances in The Doctors, the Little Women mini-series, and The Borgias, along with more recent contributions such as his role in the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
However, Franklin’s lasting impact was felt through his portrayal of Denis Rigg on Emmerdale Farm for two years. Additionally, his recurring role as Captain Mike Yates of UNIT in Doctor Who from 1971 to 1974, within Pertwee’s tenure, solidified his place in the hearts of fans. Franklin revisited the character multiple times, participating in projects like Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time and various spin-off media, leaving an indelible mark on the Doctor Who legacy.