Earl Cameron, one of the first black actors to establish a successful career in British film and television, has died 102 years.
The Bermuda-born actor, who lived with his wife in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, died in his sleep on Friday (July 3), according to family friend Martin Beckett.
“He is a fantastic character, very spiritual, very modest, we will miss him,” Beckett said.
Known for starring in Doctors like and that James Bond Film ThunderballCameron arrived in the UK in 1939 after joining the British merchant fleet.
He first appeared on screen in the 1951 movie Pool Of London, which was then a rare starring role for a black actor.
In 2009, Cameron was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
His final actor made him appear in the movie 2010 Beginning, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page.
Beckett said Cameron “had protected himself because of Covid and wasn’t really anxious about going out, he had chest problems.”
He added: “He would never take on roles that diminished people of color … he was often subject to many racial prejudices, but he never got really angry about it. He liked people who couldn’t accept him. “
Homeland star David Harewood called Cameron “a total legend” as he paid tribute to the actor.
A total legend. RIP Earl Cameron. https://t.co/d6fZ3CYx6m
– David Harewood (@DavidHarewood) July 4, 2020
The official Doctors like The Twitter account posted: “We are sorry to report the death of Earl Cameron, who starred in ‘The Tenth Planet’ and was one of the first black actors to make a successful career in British film and television.”
We are sorry to report the death of Earl Cameron, who starred in ‘The Tenth Planet’ and was one of the first black actors to make a successful career in British film and television: https://t.co/vfcnYvItQB #DoctorWho pic .twitter.com / JXxRlKw1R6
– Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) July 4, 2020
The official James Bond account wrote: “We are sorry to hear that Earl Cameron, who played Pinder in Thunderball, has passed away at the age of 102. Our thoughts are with his family right now.”
We are sorry to hear that Earl Cameron, who played Pinder in Thunderball, has passed away at the age of 102. Our thoughts are with his family right now. pic.twitter.com/vOQrWQQAf1
– James Bond (@ 007) July 4, 2020
The alien actor Ray Fearon tweeted: “Myself and the great Earl Cameron on his 100th birthday revealed a plaque to Ira Aldridge in Coventry. RIP Great Sir. Thank you for paving the way for us here! “
Myself and the great Earl Cameron on his 100th birthday revealed a plaque to Ira Aldridge in Coventry. RIP Great Sir. Thank you for paving a way for us here! ❤ pic.twitter.com/8tiGTjQXCr
– ray fearon (@ray_fearon) July 4, 2020
See more tributes to Cameron below:
I am deeply saddened to hear that the iconic #Bermudian actor Earl Cameron has passed away. I join the Bermuda community to celebrate his long and remarkable life. On the government and Bermuda’s population, I express my sincere condolences to his wife, children and family. pic.twitter.com/J9LBGEJxMJ
– Premier David Burt (@BermudaPremier) July 4, 2020
RIP Earl Cameron who has died at age 102! Sad that we did not see more opportunities given to this fine actor during his long career … but a pioneering for sure and a great legacy to celebrate today! #EarlCameron #BlackActorsMatter pic.twitter.com/A0rPPBEpsI
– Matthew Bourne (@SirMattBourne) July 4, 2020
Remember Earl Cameron (1917-2020) https://t.co/bIFaZUFcq4 pic.twitter.com/PUEH5bzfFM
– Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 4, 2020
Raises a glass to Louis Mahoney and Earl Cameron, who we both lost this week. Fine actors, and back in the day two of the most prominent people of color in a profession overwhelmingly white. Both in Doctor Who of course, and much more besides, from Cry Freedom to Inception. pic.twitter.com/DnhKbla5oD
– Nicholas Pegg (@NicholasPegg) July 4, 2020
Very sad to wake up to the news of Earl Cameron’s death at 102. I interviewed him a decade ago for the tenth planet DVD and was flowed by a dignified, kind man absolutely charged with grace. RIP pic.twitter.com/NDn7qxUA59
– Chris Chapman (@ ChrisChapman81) July 4, 2020
Earl Cameron was a naturally born artist who made each role his own. His legacy with live on as he paved the way and relayed the creative relay to others # RIP ❤️ #EarlCameron https://t.co/OYai03tU4g
– Floella Benjamin (@FloellaBenjamin) July 4, 2020
We have lost another legend, the famous actor Earl Cameron CBE! I One of the first black people I saw on TV. I remember how excited my family would be when he showed up. “Earl’s on the phone again, come on!” A real inspiration. Rest in eternal power, great man. pic.twitter.com/hGUAG9sugB
– Roy Williams (@royboywilliams) July 4, 2020
Giant man. His generation’s pioneering shoulders are what my generation of actors stand on. No shoulders were wider than this man with the voice of God and the heart of a kind prince. RIP Earl Cameron. 🖤 https://t.co/BTonZcm13x
– Paterson Joseph (@ignatius_sancho) July 4, 2020