Designer Ray Cusick, the man who created the famous DOCTOR WHO Daleks, has died at the age of 84.

Cusick suffered heart failure in his sleep on Thursday (21Feb13), his daughter Claire Heawood has confirmed.

He joined the British Broadcasting Corporation (Bbc) as a staff designer, and produced futuristic and historical settings for cult science fiction series Doctor Who, which marks its 50th anniversary this year (13).

Cusick is best known for making the show's iconic Dalek cyborgs, which first appeared in the show in the 1960s.

Doctor Who actor/writer Mark Gatiss has taken to to pay his respects, writing, "Farewell to the great Ray Cusick. His passing is especially sad in this anniversary year but his creation remains immortal. Daleks forever!"

Nicholas Briggs, who voices the modern Daleks, tells the Bbc, "Lots of my friends who are not Doctor Who fans think that the programme is 'Doctor Who and the Daleks' - that surely the Daleks are in it all the time - which isn't true but that is the impression.

"That's the brilliance of the creation of the Daleks. They've made an indelible stamp on the series."