Bernard Fox, Film and TV Star of BEWITCHED, TITANIC, THE MUMMY and More, Passes Away
BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that famous welsh actor, Bernard Fox, known to millions of fans for his iconic roles of Dr. Bombay on the hit series Bewitched and the naive, bumbling Colonel Crittendon on Hogan's Heroes, as well as key roles in Titanic (1997), The Mummy (1999) and daytimes General Hospital has died today at Valley presbyterian hospital in Van Nuys of heart failure.
Mr. FOX started his film career at the age of only 18 months and by the age of 14 he was an assistant manager of a theatre. After his naval services in the Royal Navy during World War II he resumed his career and soon was in 30 film credits from 1956 to 2004 include two films revolving around the sinking of RMS Titanic, separated by 39 years. FOX was in both Titanic (1997) (as Colonel Archibald Gracie IV) and the earlier version of the tragedy A Night to Remember (1958) (uncredited as Frederick Fleet). In the latter, he delivered the line "Iceberg dead ahead, sir!" while playing the part of a sailor in the ship's crow's nest. Other film roles ranged from supporting parts in broad comedies (Yellowbeard, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, and The Private Eyes, playing a homicidal butler in the last) to supplying THE VOICE of the Chairmouse in the Disney animated features The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under. He played the role of Winston Havelock, a retired Air Force pilot, in the 1999 adventure film The Mummy. In 2004, FOX made his final appearance before retirement in Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes.
In television, he portrayed the warlock physician (or "witch doctor") Dr. Bombay on Bewitched and the inept "Colonel" Crittendon (actually an RAF Group Captain, though always referred to as a Colonel) on Hogan's Heroes. However, his first appearance in Bewitched was not as Dr. Bombay, but as a professional witch debunker. He repeated the role of Dr. Bombay on the 1977 sequel Tabitha, and again in 1999 on the soap opera Passions, and spoofed it as a genie doctor ("wish doctor") in a 1989 episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse. He appeared in two episodes in the mystery series Columbo, "Dagger of the Mind" and "Troubled Waters". As of 2016, FOX is one of only two surviving adult recurring cast members of the sitcom Bewitched(the other being Nancy Kovack). FOX also appeared as English valet Malcolm Meriweather on The Andy Griffith Show, and in Knight Rider as Commander Smiths in season 2, episode 8.
Fox appeared as a British Major in "The Phantom Major," episode 3 of F Troop, and in "Tea and Empathy," episode 17 of season 6 of M*A*S*H.
In 1964, FOX appeared in episode 117 of The Dick Van Dyke Show, titled "Girls Will Be Boys." FOX plays the father of a little girl who keeps beating up Richie Petrie. He also appeared in episode 95, "Teacher's Petrie," where he played a night school creative writing teacher, and in "Never Bathe on Saturday" as the house detective.
In 1965 FOX made a guest appearance on Perry Mason as murderer Peter Stange in "The Case of the Laughing Lady."
Fox also appeared in McHale's Navy, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. "The Thor Affair" As munitions magnate Brutus Thor, intent on assassinating a "Gandhi-like" figure who is trying to bring world peace (1966). And a two-part episode "The Bridge of Lion's Affair" in 1966, as THRUSH agent Jordin, whose constant response to each additional assignment is "I'll look into it"; and in the Murder, She Wrote episode "One White Rose for Death" in 1986. He co-starred with Michael Evans as Dr. Watson in "Sherlock & Me" in the early 1980s. As a fan of magic and illusion, he was a long time member of the world famous magic castle.
He is survived by his wife Jacqueline and their daughter, Amanda, and two grandchildren, David-Mitchel and Samantha.