The Good Life actor Richard Briers dies aged 79 after battle with lung disease
Just two weeks after the actor Richard Briers told press he was struggling with lung disease his death has been confirmed by his agent.
The Good Life star was 79 and had been battling emphysema for a number of years.
In an interview with Daily Mail in early February Briers said: "I was diagnosed five years ago and didn't think it would go quite as badly as it has. It's a bugger, but there it is. I used to love smoking."
He added: "It's totally my fault. So, I get very breathless, which is a pain in the backside. Trying to get upstairs... oh God, it's ridiculous. Of course, when you're bloody nearly 80 it's depressing, because you've had it anyway."
Briers said he stopped smoking 10 years ago, but by then it was too late. He said: "If you do it in your 30s, you're OK, but after 30 it gets you.”
The actor was best known for appearing alongside Felicity Kendal in long-running TV sitcom The Good Life. His television credits also include Ever Decreasing Circles, Monarch of the Glen and Marriage Lines.
Both on stage and film Briers was famed for his Shakespearean performances. As a member of Sir Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Theatre Company he appeared in the director’s film adaptions of Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet; on stage he played King Lear and Malvolio in Twelfth Night.
His other film credits include Peter Pan, Frankenstein and the recent Danny Dyer vehicle Run For Your Wife.
Briers died "peacefully" at his London home yesterday, his agent Christopher Farrar said today.
Farrar, of Hamilton Hodell, said: "Richard was a wonderful man, a consummate professional and an absolute joy to work alongside.
"Following his recent discussion of his battle with emphysema, I know he was incredibly touched by the strength of support expressed by friends and the public."
"He has a unique and special place in the hearts of so many. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his family at this sad time."
Tributes to the actor have been paid by his colleagues and admirers on Twitter. Stephen Fry tweeted: "Oh no, I’ve just heard the news that Richard Briers has died. How sad. He was the most adorable and funny man imaginable."
Philip Schofield wrote: "So sad that we've lost the dignified and delightful Richard Briers. A genuinely lovely man with timing better than Tag Heuer."
Sir Branagh said: "He was a national treasure, a great actor and a wonderful man. He was greatly loved and he will be deeply missed."
Briers was born on 14 January 1934. He trained at RADA before winning a scholarship to Liverpool Playhouse in 1956.
He married actress Anne Davis later that year and they went on to have two daughters.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Eurovision 2015: Finnish punk band with learning disabilities applies to raise awareness
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Aidan Turner interview: 'being a sex symbol is a little awkward'
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'