Louis Mahoney: ‘Real Hampstead character’ and much-loved campaigning actor who starred in Doctor Who and Fawlty Towers dies at 81

PUBLISHED: 09:48 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:25 01 July 2020

Louis Mahoney. Picture: Gordon Rondelle Hawtin

Louis Mahoney. Picture: Gordon Rondelle Hawtin

Gordon Rondelle Hawtin 07505 482006

Pioneering Black actor and Hampstead icon Louis Mahoney has died aged 81

Louis, a fixture in the village’s social scene for the best part of half a century, starred in TV shows like Doctor Who and Fawlty Towers – and also fought for greater representation of non-white actors on stage and screen in the UK.

Louis died on Monday June 29, aged 81.

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Born in Gambia in 1938, he moved to Hampstead in the 1970s and was a much loved figure.

Often spotted with a drink at the bar of The Wells Tavern, he was, according to friend and photographer Gordon Hawtin “a great Hampstead character”.

While featuring in blockbuster films like the James Bond film Live and Let Die, he also helped to found the Performers Against Racism group to fight against apartheid in South Africa and was a strong anti-racist voice within the actors’ union Equity.

To contribute tributes to a fuller obituary in next week’s Ham&High, contact Sam Volpe on 07785616237 or

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