Patrick Troughton was the second actor to play Doctor Who taking over from William Hartnell. Born in 1920 in Mill Hill in London, Troughton went on to theatre school in New York, to return when the Second World War started on a Belgium ship, which hit a mine off the coast of the UK and was sunk. He escaped on a life boat and went on to join the Royal Navy. He served throughout the War and was involved in the sinking of multiple German warboats.
After the war, Troughton returned to the theatre, slowly getting more work in television which was his favourite medium. He became the first actor to play Robin Hood on television in 1953, in 1955 he was Sir Andrew Foulkes in The Scarlet Pimpernel, in 1958 Vickers in an episode of The Invisible Man. He also made appearances in many TV shows including Z-Cars, Armchair Theatre, Ivanhoe, The Count of Monte Cristo, Sherlock Holmes, The Saint, Dial 999, Danger Man, Compact, Maigret, The Third Man, Detective, Crane, No Hiding Place, The Wednesday play, and Softly Softly.
By 1966 he was cast as Doctor Who and played the Doctor until 1969. The series depended on audiences accepting a replacement Doctor, and the then producer Innes Lloyd took the bold desision to not employ a lookalike or sound alike. Patrick Troughton also had the approval of William Hartnell, with Hartnell saying that 'there was only one actor in the UK who could take over the role of Doctor Who'.
Whilst starring on the series, Troughton would rarely give any interviews, once saying that he believed acting was like magic, and that if he told you all about it it would ruin it. He was also concerned that too much publicity could type cast him and limit his opportunities in the future. Troughton found the BBC shooting of 40 episodes a series hard work, with many of his episodes being left in the BBC archives and not shown.
By 1969 Troughton decided to leave the series, mainly from fear of being type cast by starring in a leading TV series for too long. This later became known as the 'Troughton Rule' and set a trend for many actors to come. Troughton returned to the role a few times after leaving to star in the anniversary special 'The Three Doctors', and the 20th anniversary special 'The Five Doctors'. In 1985 he was back as the Doctor for his last time with Colin Baker in 'The Two Doctors'. He also advised Peter Davison in his time playing the fifth Doctor.
Troughton carried on working in TV starring in many more series. He played Thomas Howard in The Six Wives of Henry VIII in 1970, a guest spot in the hit comedy 'The Goodies' , an episode of Paul Temple, Dr Finlays Casebook, The Persuaders, A Family at War, Coronation Street, Angels, Crown Court, Special Branch, The Sweeney, Survivors, Van Der Valk, The Onedin Line, Minder, Nanny, Only When I Laugh, All Creatures Great and Small, Space 1999, Sutherlands Law, Softly Softly. He also starred in an episode of The Two Ronnies. I have linked each of those sets to where you can buy them if you are interested.