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Peter Miles (English actor)

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Peter Miles
Miles as Nyder in Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks
Peter Miles-Johnson

(1928-08-29)29 August 1928
Ealing, London
Died26 February 2018(2018-02-26) (aged 89)
Occupation(s)Actor, jazz musician
Known forStage and television actor
Notable workGenesis of the Daleks (BBC, 1975)

Peter Miles (29 August 1928 – 26 February 2018) was an English actor. He played many television roles including several different characters in Z-Cars and Doctor Who. His other television work also included Blake's 7, Survivors, The Sweeney, Dixon of Dock Green, Moonbase 3, Poldark and Bergerac. His film credits include roles in Made (1972), The Whistle Blower (1986) and Little Dorrit (1988).

Peter Miles was also an accomplished jazz and soul singer. He was a childhood friend of the singer Dusty Springfield, and the first recording Springfield ever made was with Miles on guitar.[1]

Early life[edit]

Peter Miles was born Peter Miles-Johnson on 29 August 1928 in Ealing, London. His English father was Edward Hezekiah Miles-Johnson and his French mother was Jacqueline Lesourd. The family lived at Bradley Gardens in West Ealing. His parents divorced when he was in his early teens.[2]

In his teens, Miles was a close friend of Dusty Springfield, who lived nearby in Kent Gardens, West Ealing. They enjoyed singing together along with her brother, Tom.[3]

Acting career[edit]

Miles trained initially as a teacher, although he sometimes participated in amateur dramatics. In his late 20s he worked as a teacher at the William Ellis School in Hampstead. Whilst working there, the actress Helen Burns (mother of one of his pupils, future actor Chris Langham) inspired Miles to audition for the Birmingham Repertory Company.[2]

As his acting career grew, Miles had many stage appearances in the 1960s and 1970s, including his favourite role as Satan in J.B., and an appearance in the Shakespeare adaptation An Age of Kings with Eileen Atkins. In the early 1980s he played a season at the RSC opposite Kenneth Branagh in Henry V, Roger Rees in Hamlet and Antony Sher in Richard III.[2]

Television work[edit]

Miles enjoyed a broad television career and his appearances included guest parts in Sherlock Holmes (1968), Doomwatch (1970), Colditz (1972), Crown Court (1973), Moonbase 3 (1973), The Sweeney (1975), Survivors (1978) and Bergerac (1990).[2]

In the science fiction series Blake's 7 Miles played the character of Secretary Rontane in the episodes "Seek-Locate-Destroy" (1978) and "Trial" (1979).[4] In Doctor Who, he appeared in three serials, as Dr. Lawrence in Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970), Professor Whitaker in Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974) and Nyder in Genesis of the Daleks (1975).[4] Miles also played Sheikh Hamad in The Sandbaggers in 1978.[5]

Film work[edit]

Appeared in the Henry VIII feature film Monarch alongside Doctor Who actors T. P. McKenna and Jean Marsh.[6]

Radio and other work[edit]

He also performed in the BBC Radio 5 Doctor Who audio drama The Paradise of Death in 1993, playing the villain Tragan.[4] Miles contributed to several other Doctor Who spinoffs, including the independent video production More Than a Messiah[4] and the audio dramas Zygons: Absolution[4] and Prosperity Island,[4] all produced by BBV. For the licensed audio drama producers Big Finish Productions, he appeared in Whispers of Terror in 1999 and Sarah Jane Smith: Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre[4] in 2002. He has reprised his role as Nyder three times; in the 1993 and 2005 productions of the stage play The Trial of Davros, and in the 2006 Big Finish audio drama I, Davros: Guilt. For Magic Bullet Productions, he appeared in five of the Kaldor City SF audio dramas, in the role of scheming politician Landerchild.[4] He has also appeared in the second volume of The True History of Faction Paradox, The Ship of a Billion Years, as the Egyptian deity Anhur. He played Lord Straxus in the Bernice Summerfield Season 9 episode "The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel". He also appeared in Lovejoy in the episode "Pig in a Poke".[citation needed]


Miles was also a jazz singer and guitarist. He appeared in a duet with his childhood friend Dusty Springfield in her 1967 recording of Can't We Be Friends?. Miles continued to perform in music clubs in later life.[2][3]


Miles died on 27 February 2018 at the age of 89. His death was discovered when he failed to turn up for his regular performance spot at his local music venue.[2] His death was publicly announced the following via Twitter.[7][8]


Year Title Role Notes
1972 Made Doctor
1976 The Eagle Has Landed Adolf Hitler Uncredited
1978 L'amour en question
1986 The Whistle Blower Stephen Kedge
1987 Little Dorrit Mr. Dubbin
1993 The Punk Shakespeare
2000 Monarch
2001 Possessions Robin Scoops


  1. ^ Dusty Springfield, The South Bank Show (2006)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hadoke, Toby. "Obituary: Peter Miles, actor known for villainous roles in Doctor Who". HeraldScotland. The Herald. Archived from the original on 12 February 2023. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  3. ^ a b "'Why Can't We Be Friends?' – Dusty Springfield's Early Duet with Peter Miles: Rehearsed in West Ealing and Recorded in a Studio in Queensway. – Independent Rs". www.indyrs.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Man of Steel: Interview with Peter Miles". kaldorcity.com.
  5. ^ "Always Glad to Help (1978)". BFI. Archived from the original on 24 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Monarch (2000)". BFI. Archived from the original on 24 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Former Doctor Who villain Peter Miles dies aged 89". The Telegraph. London. 28 February 2018. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  8. ^ "It is with great sadness that I have to inform you Peter passed away peaceful at home, last week at the age of 89..." @PeterMilesActor. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.

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