Dirk Bogarde dies

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DIRK BOGARDE, the distinguished British film actor, died of a heart attack at his home in London yesterday, aged 78. His nephew, Brock Van den Bogaerde, said: "He was extremely happy and looking forward to events like his 80th birthday and had many plans for the future."

During his career, Sir Dirk made 70 feature films, from the popular "Doctor in the House" series in the 1950s to arthouse classics, such as Death in Venice and The Servant, which won him awards and critical acclaim.

In middle age he began a second career as a writer, with several novels and a series of admired autobiographical works, including For The Time Being, published last year. He was knighted in 1992.