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Philip Latham (1929- 2020)

It is with sadness then that we have to report that Philip Latham has passed away at the age of 91.

The Five Doctors is a great entry to the Doctor Who canon. The first three Doctors, in various ways, take part as they discover a secret that takes them to the hearts of Time Lord society. None of them could have guessed that President Borusa was the man behind it all. In fact, Philip Latham as Borusa is one of the best things in The Five Doctors, playing a new incarnation of a character we’d met before in the Tom Baker era.

Born on 17th January 1929 in Essex, not much is known about Latham’s early life. He was educated at Felsted School, a very prestigious school, which opened in 1564 and has educated historical celebrities like John Wallis, Issac Barrow, and four of Oliver Cromwell’s sons, including Richard Cromwell.

Latham would go on to study acting at RADA which he graduated from in 1951. From there, he went on to have a big career in film, television, and theatre, guest starring in shows like The Avengers, Hammer House of Horror, The Saint, and The Professionals, among many other notable television series.

Perhaps the roles he is best known for is Willy Izard in The Troubleshooters, Plantagenet in The Pallisers, and Arthur Borne in The Cedar Tree.

While many Doctor Who fans will remember him as the definitive version of Borusa, I’ll remember him from his horror appearances. 1964 saw him starring opposite Christopher Lee in The Devil-Ship Pirates. He played Captain Drake in 1965 opposite another Hammer Horror name, Barbara Shelly in The Secret of Blood Island. However I think he’ll always be remembered as Dracula’s sinister servant Klove in the 1966 Hammer Horror movie, once again opposite old co-stars Christopher Lee and Barbara Shelly, in Dracula: Prince of Darkness. Klove actually carries a lot of the movie.

These were far from his only notable film appearences though; in 1955 he appeared uncredited in The Dam Busters and he continued to work in film right until 1981 in From a Far Country.

In 1960, Latham married Eve Latham and would have two children together. Sadly, Eve passed away 2010, shortly after the pair had moved and were living near Stow on the Wold. Latham retired from acting in the 1990s deciding to live the quiet life and completely disappeared from public life, instead focusing on his family.

Philip Latham passed away aged 91 on the 20th June 2020 and is survived by his two children. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Jordan Shortman

Philip Latham (1929- 2020)

by Jordan Shortman time to read: 2 min
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