English actor Paul Darrow, best known for playing computer genius and reluctant rebel leader Kerr Avon in the TV show Blake’s Seven died Monday, the BBC reported.  He died following a short illness.

He was born Paul Valentine Birkby on May 2, 1941 in Chessington, Surrey, England.  He died June 3, 2019.  He took Darrow as his stage name to avoid confusion with another Mr. Birkby in British theater.  He chose Darrow out of admiration for American attorney Clarence Darrow.

Although he appeared in a handful of movies, most of his theatrical work was on television or on the stage. The past few years, he served as the voice of Jack FM radio in the UK. He also voiced some video games. He did over 200 roles for television, including guest starring on Doctor Who twice.

He learned his craft at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His stage roles included Elvis Presley in “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, Sam Vimes in “Guards! Guards!” (based on the Discworld book by Sir Terry Pratchett), and Inspector xyz in MMM.

A gifted raconteur, he was a welcome guest at science fiction conventions on three continents.

Paul Darrow at a Blake’s Seven convention in San Diego.

Darrow was fully invested in his Blake’s 7 legacy. He was also a writer, having authored two Blake’s 7 books, Avon, a Terrible Aspect, and You’re Him, Aren’t You?

More Genre Roles by Paul Darrow

  • CD in The Strangerers
  • The Sheriff of Nottingham in The Legend of Robin Hood
  • Overseer Tremel in Star Wars: The Old Republic video game
  • Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Empire at War video game
  • Zarok in MediEvel: Resurrection video game


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.