As confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, character actor Bernard Fox—best known for his roles on Hogan’s Heroes and Bewitched—has died. He was 89.
Fox was born in Wales in 1927 to a family of actors, as both of his parents were stage performers and his uncle was hard-drinking English film actor Wilfrid Lawson. Fox began acting and doing other work in the theater at a young age, but took an extensive break from acting while serving in the Royal Navy during World War II. His first TV and film roles came in the ‘50s, including one uncredited appearance in the 1959 Titanic film A Night To Remember—in which he reportedly delivered the crucial line, “Iceberg dead ahead, sir.”
He appeared in a bunch of things throughout the ‘60s, including Three Live Wires, General Hospital, McHale’s Navy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and The Wild Wild West. One of his most memorable roles came in 1970, when he played the inept RAF officer Colonel Rodney Crittendon on Hogan’s Heroes.
Crittendon shows up at about 6:20 in this video:
Shortly after Hogan’s Heroes, Fox got an even bigger role as outlandish warlock Dr. Bombay on Bewitched. In an old interview quoted by THR, Fox says Bombay’s frequently changing wardrobe was the studio’s idea, but he’s the one who came up with his slightly weird manner of speech and colorful personality.
Fox also had a few voice-acting gigs over the years, including an episode of The Flintstones and as the Chairman in Disney’s The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under. In 1997, Fox’s career came full circle when he appeared in James Cameron’s Titanic, playing Colonel Archibald Graice—a man who actually survived the disaster in real life.
He is survived by his wife, daughter, and grandchildren.