Gordon Kaye dead: Actor famous for René in 'Allo 'Allo dies aged 75

The star's former agent said he passed away at a care home 

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 23 January 2017 16:40 GMT
His last screen role was in BBC sketch show Revolver in 2004
His last screen role was in BBC sketch show Revolver in 2004 (Rex)

Gorden Kaye, the actor best known for his role in BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, has died aged 75.

The Bafta-nominated star's former agent told BBC News he passed away at a care home on Monday morning.

Kaye is best known for playing cafe owner René Artois in the popular 80s show which is set in a small-town café in German-occupied France during World War Two and follows the fictional escapades of resistance fighters.

He appeared in all 84 episodes of the sitcom and 1,200 performances of the stage version.

The iconic show, which is a parody of the BBC's wartime drama Secret Army, was created by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, but the remaining series were written by Lloyd and Paul Adam. The sitcom gave birth to catchphrases such as "Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once!" from Michelle "of the Résistance" Dubois and "good moaning" from a British agent who spoke bad french.

Born in Huddersfield in Yorkshire, Kaye was an only child. Before taking up a career in TV, he worked in hospital radio locally (interviewing The Beatles in 1965), a textile mills, a wine factory and a tractor factory in West Yorkshire. He first came to prominence for playing the role of Elsie Tanner's nephew Bernard Butler in the soap opera Coronation Street in 1969.

The actor went on to appear in a number of sitcom roles including Till Death Us Do Part, It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Are You Being Served? before getting the role of René. His last screen role was in BBC show Revolver in 2004.

Kaye suffered serious head injuries in a car accident during the Burns Day storm in 1990. After the accident, he received emergency brain surgery and later said he had no memory of the event.

Tributes to the actor have poured in on Twitter.

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