Rimmer was born in Toronto, Canada, where his parents had settled after moving to Canada. Shane’s father was Thomas Rimmer, a reporter and advertising copywriter from Ireland. Shane’s mother was Vera Franklin, from England. Thomas and Vera had separately migrated to the United States, and they met each other while living in New York. They married there, and then moved to Canada in search of a better life.
In the 1950s, Rimmer had a music career in Canada, both as a singer and as a radio DJ. In 1958, he became the host of a musical television series, “Come Fly with Me”. In 1959, Rimmer joined a singing trio called “the Three Deuces”, and started performing in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, he had started appearing as a character actor in various films and television series.
In 1962, Rimmer met the dancer Sheila Logan, and they were married in 1963. The couple settled in London, and Rimmer’s new wife soon became his agent. She helped secure more acting jobs for him. His first recurring role in a television series was playing the magazine editor Russell Corrigan in the soap opera “Compact”(1963-1964)
His first notable film role was that of Captain “Ace” Owens, crew member of a B-52 bomber in the black comedy “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964). Owens is depicted serving under Major “King” Kong (played by Slim Pickens) in a suicide mission.
Rimmer started playing guest roles in relatively high-profile action and science-fiction television series of the period, such as “The Saint “, “Danger Man”, and “Dr. Who”. In 1965, Rimmer gained his key role of pilot Scott Tracy in “Thunderbirds”. Scott appeared in all 32 episodes of the series. After the end of the television series, Rimmer returned to the role of Scott Tracy in the spin-off films “Thunderbirds Are Go” (1966) and “Thunderbird 6” (1968). While the television series was a hit, both films under-performed at the box office. Plans for further sequel films were can-celled.
In the late 1960s, Rimmer started playing minor roles in the “James Bond” film series. He played an unnamed American launch controller in “You Only Live Twice” (1967), the chief of security Tom in “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), and Commander Carter, the captain of the nuclear submarine in “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977). He also voiced Hamilton, an agent of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) who gets assassinated in “Live and Let Die” (1973). Hamilton was played by actor Robert Dix, but his dialogue was voiced by Rimmer instead.
Trying his hand at screenwriting, Rimmer wrote scripts for several episodes of the television series “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” (1967-1968), “Joe 90” (1968-1969), “The Secret Service” (1969), and “The Protectors ” (1972-1974). The first three of them were science fiction series, while “The Protectors” was a crime fiction series about an an alliance of private detectives.
In March 2019, Rimmer died in at Barnet Hospital in London. He was 89-years-old. He was survived by his wife and their three sons.
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