Tom Baker, the actor who portrayed the Fourth Doctor in the Doctor Who series celebrates his 86th birthday today.
While I will always remember William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton as the Doctor in the series (I grew up with the series, after all), Tom Baker was, for many, the definitive Doctor in the series, due to the length of time that he played the role.
And now, here's some Trivia about Tom Baker on the occasion of his birthday:
1. An image of him appeared on the episode of The Simpsons (1989) shown on 26 November 1995.
2. He is the longest-serving actor to have portrayed the Doctor in Doctor Who, having played the role for seven seasons from 1974 to 1981. In second place is his immediate predecessor, Jon Pertwee, who played the Third Doctor for five seasons from 1970 to 1974.
3. With the death of Jon Pertwee on May 20, 1996, he is both the oldest and earliest surviving Doctor from the series.
4. Tom was a largely unknown, unemployed actor who had actually written to the BBC seeking work shortly before he was cast in his most famous role, as the star of Doctor Who. His appointment as Jon Pertwee's successor came after series producer Barry Letts had already considered for the role more famous actors Jim Dale, Richard Hearne, Michael Bentine, Graham Crowden, and Fulton Mackay, all of whom had been discounted for various reasons.
5. He has performed with the National Theatre, the Bristol Old Vic, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
6. He has two children with his wife, Anna Wheatcroft, Daniel and Piers.
7. He is a voice-over artist for television commercials in the UK.
8. He has been mistaken by members of the public for Jon Pertwee.
9. Trained at Rose Bruford Drama School, Sidcup, Kent, UK alongside Freddie Jones. Later members include actors Ray Fearon, Gary Oldman and Stephen Armourae.
10. His mother, Mary Jane Fleming Baker, was Irish.
11. He was a monk for six years before becoming an actor.
12. After Jon Pertwee, he is the second longest-lived actor to have played the Doctor in Doctor Who.
13. At 6'3" tall, he is the tallest actor, along with Jon Pertwee, to have played the Doctor in the series.
14. Documented in books about the Doors rock group, Tom Baker was a friend of and used to "hang out" with Jim Morrison prior to his career as the Doctor.
15. In one of the most recent Christmas specials of Doctor Who, "The Time of the Doctor", he played the role of the librarian and archive keeper, and hints that this may be the Doctor's final incarnation as well.
16. He is a voracious reader of books.