Blogtor Who must report that W Morgan Sheppard, who played the elder Canton Delaware III in The Impossible Astronaut has died. He as 86.

Born in London and educated in Ireland, Sheppard was a RADA graduate who spent his early career with the Royal Shakespeare Company before becoming a regular face on television in America prior to his appearance in Doctor Who.

As Canton, Sheppard achieved the unusual accomplishment of acting with his own son to play the same character. While Mark Sheppard played Canton in the sequences set in the 1960s as he aided the Doctor battle the Silence, his father Morgan played Canton as he returned to stand vigil over the Doctor’s body at Lake Silencio. Remarkably they would repeat the trick a few years later. On that occasion as the young and old Captain Nemo in TV movie Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island. A similar move in an episode of NCIS saw photos of Morgan’s character as a young man being represented by photos of Mark.

But Doctor Who was just one part in a long career. He was known to many for his work in science fiction and genre television. He was especially popular on various Star Trek series. There the house style of alien design meant he was able to appear multiple times as characters from different species. Indeed he managed a rare hat trick of playing a human (in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Schizoid Man), a Vulcan (in the 2009 Star Trek movie) and a Klingon (in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). He also appeared in Star Trek: Voyager episode Bliss as a Delta Quadrant alien, Qatari, who rescues the Voyager.

Other roles included the aging punk Blank Reg in Max Headroom. He also had parts in Quantum Leap, Fraiser, Charmed, Alias, Mad Men and Dexter among many others.

Doctor Who - The Impossible Astronaut (BBC)
The late W Morgan Sheppard as Canton Everett Delaware III in Doctor Who – The Impossible Astronaut (BBC)

Writing on his Instagram page, his son Mark said

“We went to spend some time with my father today. Though he couldn’t speak, we held hands, he laughed and was so happy to see us. We left and came home. A good day. He was rushed to hospital and passed at 6:30pm, my mother by his side. I am so grateful that he didn’t have to suffer any longer. Thank you for all your kind thoughts, love and prayers.”

Blogtor Who would like to extend our thoughts and well wishes to the Sheppard family, and express our respect for W Morgan Sheppard and his work.


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