'On The Buses' star Reg Varney dies, aged 92

Reg Varney, who starred in On The Buses, died yesterday following a short illness. He was 92. His daughter, Jeanne Marley, 59, said he died "peacefully" just before 2pm, at a nursing home in Budleigh Salterton, Devon.

Varney, who played the main character, Stan Butler, in the 1970s sitcom, was born in the East End of London but had lived in Devon for the past 20 years. After leaving school he took menial jobs before becoming an actor after showing a flair for performance in working men's clubs.

During the Second World War he joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers but continued as an entertainer in music halls.

He had a number of roles in different TV shows before achieving fame in On The Buses, which began in 1969 and ran for seven series.

Mrs Marley said he was only recently admitted to the nursing home after suffering a chest infection. She said: "He was always very young for his age. When he was in On The Buses he played a 35-year-old, but was actually 50."