Peter John Hawkins (3 April 1924 – 8 July 2006) was an English actor and voice artist. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Hawkins was one of the most sought-after voiceovers for television and radio, being a regular face and voice around the Soho-based circuit of commercial production studios, and working regularly with the likes of Patrick Allen, Edward Judd, David Tate and David Jason.
Born in London and a native of Brixton, Hawkins' long association with British children's television began in 1952 when he voiced both Bill and Ben, the Flower Pot Men. In 1955–1956, he voiced Big Ears and Mr. Plod in The Adventures Of Noddy. He also provided all the voices for the animated series Captain Pugwash, The Family Ness, The Adventures of Tintin, The Adventures of Sir Prancelot, and Bleep and Booster, the last of which was a regular feature of the long-running children's magazine series Blue Peter in the 1960s and early 70s. He was also the narrator for SuperTed and Jimbo and the Jet-Set.
He voiced several characters on Doctor Who in the show's early years, especially the Daleks and the Cybermen. He was also the original voice of Zippy on Rainbow during the first year of its run (1972). Coincidentally his replacement on Rainbow, Roy Skelton, also voiced the Daleks. Hawkins and Skelton also voiced the Cybermen in The Tenth Planet.
Hawkins was the original voice for the character of Frankie Mouse in the fourth radio episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, originally broadcast in March 1978.
He also provided the voice of Money, a walking, talking pound sign on the UK adverts for the Access credit card, during the 1980s and 1990s.
Hobbies and collections
Hawkins was the owner of a fine art collection, including works by Monet, Pissarro and Alfred Sisley, owned a collection of Japanese sword guards and was very keen on Japanese delicacy.
In 1992 Hawkins developed a brain tumour which, although successfully treated, left him with short-term memory problems and his retirement from the profession. Due to this he was unable to contribute to any DVD release of Doctor Who outside of archive footage.
He died in London, aged 82, on 8 July 2006, coincidentally the same day that the 2006 season finale of Doctor Who, "Doomsday", the first to feature Daleks and Cybermen confronting each other, was transmitted.
Nicholas Briggs, who has voiced the Daleks on television since the revival of Doctor Who in 2005, paid tribute to him in Doctor Who Magazine, praising him as the best Dalek voice artist, saying "...all of us who've provided Dalek voices over the last 40 years owe him a massive debt. None of us have been as good as Peter, but he supplied our inspiration. He was truly the Emperor of the Daleks."
In 2013 the BBC produced a docudrama depicting the creation and early days of Doctor Who, called An Adventure in Space and Time, screened as part of the programme's fiftieth anniversary celebrations. Hawkins was a small role, played by Nicholas Briggs
- Doctor Who (1963-) - Dalek voices and Cybermen Voices
- Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) - Daleks
- Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966) - Daleks
- Rainbow (1972-1991) - Zippy
- SuperTed (1982-1985) - Narrator and Additional voices
- The Family-Ness (1984-1985) - Narrator, Mr. MacTout, Ferocious Ness and Other Voices
- Jimbo and the Jet Set (1986-1987) - Narrator, Chief and Other Voices
- Oliver (1988) - Dr. Curt Connors and Additional voices
- Oliver's Love (1988) - Additional voices
- I Wanted a Black Cat (1988) - Kuma
- Oliver's Christmas Carol (1988) - Dr. Curt Connors and Additional voices
- It's Fun to Learn With Spot (1990-1994) - Narrator