Michael Craze

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Michael Craze
Michael Craze.jpg
Publicity photo
Born Michael Francis Craze
(1942-11-29)29 November 1942
Cornwall, England
Died 8 December 1998(1998-12-08) (aged 56)
Surrey, England
Cause of death
Heart Attack
Occupation Actor
Television Doctor Who (1966–1967)
Spouse(s) Edwina Craze (?–1998; his death)
Children Ben Craze
Relatives Peter Craze (brother)

Michael Craze (29 November 1942 – 8 December 1998) was a British actor noted for his role of Ben Jackson, a companion of the Doctor, in the long-running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. He played the part from 1966 to 1967 alongside both William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton.

Craze was born in Cornwall. He got into acting by chance as, at the age of twelve, he discovered through Boy Scout Gang Shows that he had a perfect boy soprano voice. This led him to win parts in The King and I and Plain and Fancy, both at Drury Lane, and Damn Yankees at the Coliseum. Once he had left school, he went into repertory and got into TV through his agent. His first television was a show called Family Solicitor for Granada, which was followed, amongst others, by a part in ABC TV's 1960 series Target Luna (written by Malcolm Hulke and Eric Paice and produced by Sydney Newman).

At the age of twenty Craze wrote, directed and acted in a film called The Golden Head, which won an award at the Commonwealth Film Festival in Cardiff. Following Doctor Who, Craze worked on several ITV productions, including one episode (The Last Visitor) of Hammer Films' first TV series Journey to the Unknown in 1968. Other television roles include parts in Dixon of Dock Green and Z-Cars.

In the 1970s Craze appeared in two cult Norman J. Warren horror films: Satan's Slave (1976) and Terror (1978). He also appeared in the horror/fantasy/romance film Neither the Sea Nor the Sand (1972).

In the 1980s Michael acted only occasionally and also managed a pub.

Craze died of a heart attack on 8 December 1998. He had fallen down some steps the previous day while picking up his neighbour's paper for her, and owing to a heart condition, was unable to be operated on. Craze was cremated, then some of his ashes were scattered on the river Thames.[citation needed]

Craze was married to Edwina Craze, a television producer and previously a floor manager, whom Craze met while working on Doctor Who. She died in 1999.

Michael Craze's brother is actor Peter Craze who also appeared in Doctor Who.

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