Gareth Thomas (actor)

Gareth Daniel Thomas (12 February 1945 – 13 April 2016) was a Welsh actor. He rose to national prominence playing the role of Roj Blake in the 1970s BBC science-fiction television drama series Blake's 7.

Gareth Thomas
Gareth Thomas at the Blake's 7 DVD launch, 2005
Gareth Daniel Thomas

(1945-02-12)12 February 1945
Died13 April 2016(2016-04-13) (aged 71)
Surrey, England
Years active1965–2011

Early life

Thomas was born on 12 February 1945 and grew up in Aberystwyth.[1][2] He was the younger of two sons of Kenneth Thomas, a barrister who had been a junior at the Nuremberg trials, and his wife, Olga (née Noake).[3] Thomas attended the King's School, Canterbury[3] and was a member of the National Youth Theatre, appearing with them in the 1967 production of Zigger Zagger. He then trained at RADA[1] and became an Associate Member.[2] Before his acting career, he played rugby.[4]


Thomas made many television appearances included The Avengers, Coronation Street, Z-Cars, Special Branch, Sutherland's Law, Public Eye, Who Pays the Ferryman?, Bergerac, By the Sword Divided, The Citadel, Knights of God, Boon, London's Burning, Casualty, Taggart, Heartbeat, Sherlock Holmes, How Green Was My Valley, Torchwood and Midsomer Murders.

He appeared on stage in many productions. His appearances include RSC productions of Twelfth Night, Othello and Anna Christie; English Shakespeare Company productions of Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2 and Henry V; and King Lear, Educating Rita, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Crucible, Equus and Déjà Vu. In 2010 Thomas gave an acclaimed performance as Ephraim Cabot in Desire Under the Elms at the New Vic Theatre.[1] In 2000 Gareth was the first subject of MJTV's interview/drama CD series The Actor Speaks. He talked about his character Blake in Blake's 7 in one of the interviews. From 1999 to 2005, Thomas took part in 12 of 14 CD episodes of MJTV's original audio comedy sci-fi drama series Soldiers of Love, playing camp Welsh TV host Hywel Hammond and villain of the piece Aaron Arkenstein.

In 2001 he appeared in Storm Warning, an audio drama based on Doctor Who by Big Finish Productions. He also played the part of Kalendorf in the Big Finish Productions Dalek Empire series. In 2006 he appeared as a guest star in the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood, in the episode "Ghost Machine". In 2012, Thomas returned to the role of "Roj Blake" in Big Finish Productions' Blake's 7: The Liberator Chronicles, a series of dramatic readings which take place during Series One before the death of Olag Gan. Thomas stars as "Blake" in Counterfeit by Peter Anghelides and False Positive by Eddie Robson. In 2013 he appeared as Brother Cadfael in Middle Ground Theatre Company's adaption of The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters. He was twice nominated for a BAFTA, for his performances in Stocker's Copper (BBC Play for Today) (1972) and Morgan's Boy (1984).

Morgan's Boy was his favourite television role, but it was Blake's 7 that won the bigger audiences.[1]


Thomas died in Surrey on 13 April 2016 of heart failure, at the age of 71.[5]

Personal life

Thomas's first wife, Annie, was the mother of his two children; this marriage ended in divorce. His second wife, Sheelagh, was a make-up artist; this marriage also ended in divorce.[3] His third wife was Linda.[6][7] After many years living in the Scottish Borders he moved to live in the county of Surrey in 2009.



Year Title Role Notes
1967 Quatermass and the Pit Workman British science fiction horror film directed by Roy Ward Baker.[8]
1972 The Ragman's Daughter Tom Crimedrama romantic film directed by Harold Becker.[9]
1973 Super Bitch Trenchcoated Detective (Italian: Si può essere più bastardi dell'ispettore Cliff?, lit. Can anyone be more bastard than Inspector Cliff?) Italian directed by Massimo Dallamano.[10]
1974 Juggernaut Liverpool Joiner Crime suspense film directed by Richard Lester.[11]
1993 Sparrow Corrado (Italian: Storia di una capinera) Italian drama film directed by Franco Zeffirelli.[12]
2008 Imaginary Summer Starring role Drama film directed by Rebecca Coley.
2010 Made in Romania Gary Devane Comedy film directed, produced, and written by Guy J. Louthan.


Year Title Role Notes
1965 Romeo and Juliet Benvolio Made-for-TV-Movie
1967 The Avengers Assassin Episode: "Murdersville" (S 5:Ep 23)
1969 The Wednesday Play Doorman Episode: "The Apprentices" (Ep 137)
Parkin's Patch Ron Radley Recurring from 1969 to 1970
1971 Coronation Street Mel Ryan Episode: "Wed 2 Jun, 1971"
Z-Cars Tim Ward Episode: "The Taker" (S 5:Ep 410)
Public Eye Briggs Episode: "The Man Who Didn't Eat Sweets: (S 5:9)
1972 Play for Today Herbert Griffith Episode: "Stocker's Copper" (S 2:Ep 12)
No Exit Matthew Episode: "A Man's Fair Share Of Days" (S 1:Ep 3)
Drama Playhouse Alec Duthie Episode: "Sutherland's Law: Man Overboard" (S 3:Ep 1)
Z-Cars Ken Knowles Episode: "Public Relations" (S 7:Ep 83)
Public Eye Tom Lewis Episode: "The Bankrupt" (S 6:Ep 1)
Man at the Top Dave Croxley Episode: "You Will Never Understand Women" (S 2:Ep 1)
Harriet's Back in Town Chauffeur Recurring
1973 Sutherland's Law Alec Duthie Recurring
1974 David Copperfield Mr. Murdstone Miniseries
Special Branch Steve Ryman Episode: "Alien" (S 4:Ep 11)
1975 Play for Today Guest Episode: "Breath" (S 5:Ep 10)
Edward the Seventh Lord Charles Beresford Episodes:
  • "Dearest Prince" (S 1:Ep 7)
  • "Scandal" (S 1:Ep 10)
How Green Was My Valley Rev. Mr. Gruffyd Recurring from 1975 to 1976
1976 Jackanory Narrator Recurring
Star Maidens Shem Recurring
1977 Children of the Stones Adam Brake Recurring
Who Pays the Ferryman? Tony Viglis Miniseries
1978 Blake's 7 Roj Blake Recurring
1980 Hammer House of Horror Constable Episode: "Visitor from the Grave" (S 1:Ep 11)
1981 Peter and Paul Julius Miniseries directed by Robert Day.[13]
1982 The Bell James Tayper Recurring
1983 Bergerac Towers Episode: "Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie" (S 2:Ep 3)
The Citadel Philip Denny Miniseries directed by Peter Jefferies and Mike Vardy.[14]
Shades of Darkness Owen Bosworth Episode: "Bewitched" (S 1:Ep 7)
1984 Love and Marriage Stephen Episode: "Dearly Beloved" (S 1:Ep 2)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Joseph Harrison Episode: "The Naval Treaty" (S 1:Ep 3)
Strangers and Brothers Arthur Mounteney Episodes:
  • "Episode #1.8" (S 1:Ep 8)
  • "Episode #1.9" (S 1:Ep 10)
Morgan's Boy Morgan Thomas Recurring
1985 By the Sword Divided Major General Horton Recurring
Dramarama' Long John Silver Episode: Silver" (S 3:Ep 11)
Duel with An Teallach Charles Handley Made-for-TV-Movie[15]
1987 Knights of God Owen Edwards Recurring
1988 Tales of the Unexpected Telfer Episode: "The Colonel's Lady" (S 9:Ep 2)
1989 Boon Bill Stone Episode: "Walking off Air" (S 5:Ep 1)
London's Burning "ACO" William Bulstrode Recurring from 1989 to 1994
After the War Guy Falcon Miniseries
Chelworth Peter Thornton Miniseries
1990 Emlyn's Moon Mr. Llewelyn Recurring
1991 We Are Seven Big Bill Caradog
The Chestnut Soldier Idris Llewelyn Recurring
1992 Maigret Gautier Episode: "Maigret on Home Ground" (S 1:Ep 5)
1994 Medics Guest Episode: "Going West" (S 4:Ep 10)
Crown Prosecutor Harry Thomsen Episode: "Episode 3" (S 1:Ep 3)
1995 Episode: "Episode 4" (S 1:Ep 4)
Casualty Tom Arnold Episode: "Bringing It All Back Home" (S 10:Ep 12)
Wales Playhouse Flann Episode: "Archangel Night Out" S(#:Ep 5)
1996 The Witch's Daughter Dan Mackay Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Alan Macmillan.[16]
1998 Merlin: The Quest Begins Blaze Made-for-TV-Movie directed by David Winning.
The Creatives Policeman Episode: "Pocy Pola" (S 1:Ep 3)
Animal Ark Mr. Matthews Episode: "Calf in the Cottage" (S 2:Ep 5)
Heartbeat Nathaniel Clegghorn Recurring from 1998 to 2004
2000 The Strangerers Police Sergeant Episode: "Space Cadets" (S 1:Ep 1–Pilot)
Randall and Hopkirk Dickie Bechard Episode: (S 1:Ep 6)
2001 Baddiel's Syndrome David's Dad Episode: "Dream Home" (S 1:Ep 10)
Colin Episodes:
  • "Dead Grandma" (S 1:Ep 2)
  • "Religious Uncertainty" (S 1:Ep 13)
Doctors Les Simms Episode: "Chip Off The Old Block" (S 4:Ep 18)
2002 Shipman Rev Denis Thomas Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Roger Bamford.
Casualty Jim Bailey Episode: "Up To Your Neck In It" (S 17:Ep 11)
2003–2010 Raven Voice of Wisdom Tree
2004 Taggart Lord Falkland Episode: "Saints and Sinners" (S 20:Ep 4)
2005 Distant Shores Charles McCallister Recurring from 2005 to 2008
2006 Torchwood Ed Morgan Episode: "Ghost Machine" (S 1:Ep 3)
2007 Midsomer Murders Huw Mostyn Episode: "Death and Dust" (S 10:Ep 5)
2008 M.I. High Patrick Houston Episode: "Moontaker" (S 3:Ep 13)
2009 Personal Affairs Leo Hartmann Episode: (S 1:Ep 5)
2011 Holby City Gareth Harper Episode: "Shame" (S 14:Ep 3)


  1. "Gareth Thomas Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  2. "Gareth Thomas, Blake's 7 actor, dies aged 71". BBC News. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  3. "Gareth Thomas obituary: Blake's 7 star". The Guardian. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  4. Owen, Cathy (14 April 2016). "Rugby legend Gareth Thomas reassures fans after death of Welsh actor Gareth Thomas". Media Wales. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  5. "Blake's 7 star Gareth Thomas dies at age 71". Digital Spy. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  6. Mellor, Louisa (14 April 2016). "Gareth Thomas, Blake's 7 actor, dies aged 71". Den of Geek. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  7. Mears, Tyler (14 April 2016). "Welsh actor and Blake's 7 star Gareth Thomas has died at the age of 71". Media Wales. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  8. "Quatermass and the Pit". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  9. "The Ragman's Daughter". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  10. Curti 2013, p. 101.
  11. "Juggernaut". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  12. "Sparrow". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  13. "Peter and Paul". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  14. "The Citadel". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  15. Lentz III 2014, p. 320.
  16. "The Witch's Daughter". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 15 April 2016.


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