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|Born||Anthony Michael Wisher
19 May 1935
|Died||21 July 1995
Dacorum, Hertfordshire, England
Cause of death
Michael Wisher (19 May 1935 – 21 July 1995) was a British actor.
A regular character actor in television drama from the 1960s onwards, he appeared in programmes such as Z-Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, Moonbase 3 and Colditz. His theatre work was also extensive (and included a lengthy tour of New Zealand).
He is also remembered for a series of different roles in the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who, most notably becoming the first actor to play Davros, the wheelchair-using scientific mastermind and creator of the Daleks. The serial in which the character was first seen, Genesis of the Daleks, was originally broadcast in 1975.
A sudden heart attack resulted in his death in 1995. His son, Andrew, is also an actor and his daughter-in-law, Amanda, is a drama teacher in the east of England.
Doctor Who roles
The director of that story, Michael Ferguson, later asked Wisher to play a reporter in the Third Doctor serial The Ambassadors of Death (1970). The following season, he appeared in the Robert Holmes classic Terror of the Autons (1971), playing Rex Farrell. During the later years of the Pertwee era, Wisher provided Dalek voices in stories including Frontier in Space (1973), Planet of the Daleks (1973) and Death to the Daleks (1974) and acted as the villainous Commissioner Kalik in Carnival of Monsters (1973).
He continued to be associated with the series through the early Fourth Doctor years in which he voiced unseen characters in both Revenge of the Cybermen (1975) and Planet of Evil (1975); he also acted on-screen in both serials, as Magrik in Revenge of the Cybermen and Morelli in Planet of Evil.
Wisher was the first actor to portray Davros, the creator of the Daleks, who spoke with an electronically aided voice. Although the character would be revived in further series, commitments to long-running theatre work prevented him from repeating his role when asked to appear in later stories. However, he did reprise the role in 1993 for The Trial of Davros, an amateur theatrical production staged for charity which he also co-wrote.
Doctor Who spin-offs
In the period from 1984 to 1987 he created several characters in the Audio Visuals series, works that started the audio production careers of some of the figures currently associated with the licensed Big Finish Productions.
He followed this by playing a villain with several faces in Summoned by Shadows, produced by BBV in 1991 and as a Minister in The Airzone Solution in 1993. That production included performances by four of the actors who had played the lead character in Doctor Who. Finally, he played a spaceship engineer in Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans in 1994.
One of his final acting roles was as an evil theatre commissionaire in Dalekmania, a documentary about the production of the Dalek movies of the 1960s.
- "Trial of Davros". Hyde Fundraisers. 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.