One of Britain‘s earliest most successful black actors, the Bermuda-born Earl Cameron, died in his sleep on Friday at the age of 102, his family has announced. Cameron’s family described him as “an inspirational man who stood by his moral principles”, according to the BBC.
The family added that they “have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and respect they have received”. They remembered him “as an artist and actor [who] refused to accept roles that demeaned or stereotyped the character of people of colour.”
Tribute also came from many others including the Premier of Bermuda, David Burt, who tweeted: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of iconic Bermudian actor Earl Cameron. I join the Bermuda community in celebrating his long and remarkable life.”
Wold-renowned choreographer, Sir Matthew Bourne, lamented that it was sad Cameron “didn’t see more opportunities…during his long career.” Sir Matthew called Cameron a “groundbreaker”.
In 2009, Cameron was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in celebration of his career.
Cameron was born in Pembroke, Bermuda in 1917 and went to the UK on board a British warship in 1939, after working as a hand on fleets that sailed between Bermuda and New York. It was in 1951, aged 34, that Cameron had his first acting role in a film, Pool of London.
He also starred in famous British TV show Doctor Who as well as the 1965 James Bond movie, Thunderball. Cameron played small roles in The Interpreter, which starred Sean Penn, and Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.