Earl Cameron

Earl Cameron

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Considered Britain's first Black movie star, the trailblazing actor died on July 3 at his home in England. He was 102. His rep told ET that Cameron "passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his wife and family." "Our family have been overwhelmed by the outpourings of love and respect we have received at the news of our father’s passing," Cameron's children said in a statement to ET. "As an artist and as an actor he refused to take roles that demeaned or stereotyped the character of people of colour. He was truly a man who stood by his moral principles and was inspirational." Born in Bermuda in 1917, Cameron arrived in the U.K. in 1939 and served in the British Merchant Navy before becoming an actor. After working on stage at the West End, he made his on-screen debut in 1951's Pool of London. The film broke barriers as the first British movie to feature a biracial relationship, as well as the first mainstream British film to star a Black actor. He then went on to have roles in SapphireThe Prisoner and Sidney Poitier’s A Warm December. Cameron landed the small role in the 007 film, Thunderball, in 1965, before becoming a series regular on The Dark Man. He also appeared on Season 4 of Doctor Who, where he reportedly became the first Black actor to play an astronaut on screen, per IndieWire. One of his last projects was a small role in Christopher Nolan’s Inception. In 2009, the actor was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), presented by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. He is survived by his second wife, Barbara, and his children.

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