Home > BBC, Doctor Who > RIP: Caroline John (aka Liz Shaw)

RIP: Caroline John (aka Liz Shaw)

It is with sadness that the BBC have confirmed that Caroline John had passed away on 5th June. Caroline John appeared with Jon Pertwee in his first year as the Third Doctor in 1970. She featured as the civilian member of UNIT Liz Shaw in all episodes of the shows Seventh Season (Spearhead from Space, Doctor Who & the Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death & Inferno). She also briefly appeared in the 20th Anniversary special The Five Doctors and also the Children in Need special Dimensions in Time.

It’s with great sadness that we confirm the death of Caroline John who played companion Liz Shaw in 1970. She passed away on the 5th June.


Devastated to hear that the lovely, talented, wise and gentle Caroline John is no longer with us. So sad. Thoughts with Geoffrey and family.

Colin Baker

UPDATE: The BBC News website has added the recent news. The Doctor Who News website has also written a obituary.

British actress Caroline John, known to many for playing Doctor Who assistant Liz Shaw, has died at the age of 72.

A funeral was held in south-west London on Wednesday for the Yorkshire-born actress, who starred opposite Jon Pertwee’s Doctor in the BBC series.

John played Liz Shaw in four Doctor Who adventures in 1970, later reprising her role in 1983’s The Five Doctors.

Both she and husband Geoffrey Beevers went on to work on several Doctor Who audio and straight-to-video spin-offs.

Born in 1940, John trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and later toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

As Elizabeth “Liz” Shaw, John made her first appearance alongside the newly-regenerated third Doctor in the story Spearhead from Space.

Her character witnessed the reawakening of an ancient race in The Silurians and stopped an insane scientist from cracking open the Earth’s crust in Inferno.

She also got to drive Bessie, the Doctor’s canary yellow roadster, despite the actress not having a driving licence at the time.

In recent years, John was seen in episodes of Doctors, Midsomer Murders and Silent Witness.

“Carry was always delighted to return to Liz Shaw and reprised the role several times in our audio series Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles,” said David Parkinson of Big Finish Productions.

“She was a brilliant actress and a lovely, kind soul who was a joy to be around and who was interested in everyone. She will be greatly missed.”

BBC News

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