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TARDIS Index File

Michael Craze

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Michael Craze played Ben Jackson, a companion of the First and Second Doctors, from The War Machines to The Faceless Ones. He played the part from 1966 to 1967 alongside both William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. His brother Peter Craze has also appeared in Doctor Who. He was the husband of Edwina Craze.

Born in Cornwall, Craze went into acting quite by chance. At the age of twelve, he discovered through Boy Scout Gang Shows that he had a perfect boy soprano voice. This won him 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 role was in 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 Price and produced by Sydney Newman).

At the age of twenty Michael 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, Michael 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 included parts in Dixon of Dock Green and Z-Cars. In the 1980s Michael acted only occasionally and also managed a pub.

Graeme Harper originally asked Craze to play the role of Krelper in The Caves of Androzani, but the idea was vetoed by producer John Nathan-Turner. (DWM 279)

Craze's name was used by comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams for a character in their sketch show Little Britain. "Sir Michael Craze" in the programme is a theatrical agent. Little Britain has also featured a character named after another Doctor Who companion actor, Matthew Waterhouse.

Michael Craze died in 1998 after suffering a heart attack which resulted in a fatal fall down the stairs in his home. Former Doctor Who co-stars Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines were among those in attendance at his funeral.

Craze is depicted in the 2013 docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time by an uncredited actor who appears in two scenes — a recreation of a press photocall announcing Craze and Wills' casting, and a recreation of the filming of the regeneration scene from The Tenth Planet.

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