The X-Files actor Peter Donat dies aged 90

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The X-Files actor Peter Donat has died at the age of 90.

Donat had an acting career spanning half a century and was perhaps best known for playing William ‘Bill’ Mulder, Fox Mulder’s dad, in the sci-fi drama.

He died at his home in Point Reyes Station, California, the New York Times reports.

Donat’s wife said that he had died from complications relating to diabetes.

David Duchovny, who played Donat’s on-screen son, told the newspaper: “He had an easy gravitas as a performer and seemed to come from that generation that took the art seriously but not too seriously.”

Bill Mulder was introduced in the show as Fox’s dad and the husband of his mother Teena, though it is later revealed that Fox’s biological dad was in fact the mysterious Cigarette Smoking Man.

As well as The X-Files, Donat was known for playing a lawyer in The Godfather Part II, having apparently been considered for Robert Duvall’s role of Tom Hagen in its predecessor.

Director Francis Ford Coppola also went on to cast Donat as US attorney Otto Kerner in 1988’s Tucker: The Man and His Dream.

Donat appeared in countless TV shows ranging from the likes of The Waltons and Quincy, ME to Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angels and Dallas, and had recurring roles in Flamingo Road and Time Trax.

His other film roles included supporting parts in dark comedy The War of the Roses and David Fincher’s twisty thriller The Game.

The Canadian actor, whose uncle was the Oscar-winning British star of Goodbye, Mr Chips Robert Donat, also had a number of roles on Broadway during his career.