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24 September 1939
|Died||4 August 1989
Dinan, Brittany, France
|Cause of death||Heart Attack|
He was born Roger Middleton in Sheffield at the outbreak of the Second World War, and studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He took his stage name from that of an earlier film actor called Maurice Colbourne, (24 September 1894–22 September 1965), who shared the same date of birth (in a different year) as his. He first became well known when he played the lead in a BBC drama series, Gangsters, from 1975–78, and afterwards appeared regularly on screen.
He twice appeared in the science fiction series Doctor Who as the character Lytton in Resurrection of the Daleks (1984) and Attack of the Cybermen (1985). He also appeared in the television miniseries adaptation of John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids (1981), as the character Jack Coker. He also played Charles Marston, the love interest of Lady Fogarty in the seventh series of The Onedin Line screened from 22 July to 23 September 1979.
In 1972, he co-founded, together with Mike Irving and Guy Sprung, the Half Moon Theatre near Aldgate, east London. This was a successful, radical theatre company, performing initially in an 80-seat disused synagogue in Half Moon Passage, E1. In 1985, the company moved to a converted chapel in Mile End Road, near Stepney Green.
He is probably best remembered as Tom Howard, in the BBC Television serial, Howards' Way, which he played from 1985 to 1989, until he died suddenly aged 49 from a heart attack while renovating a holiday home in Dinan, Brittany, France. Colbourne also played a mercenary in an episode of the Return of the Saint, "Duel in Venice".
- Cry of the Banshee (1970)
- Escape from the Dark (1976) aka The Littlest Horse Thieves
- The Duellists (1977)
- Bloodline (1979)
- Hawk the Slayer (1980)
- Venom (1981)
- "Howards' Way actor dies". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
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