Chiswick Actor Richard Briers Has Died

The veteran Shakespearian and 'Good Life' actor had been suffering from emphysema


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The death has been announced of the Chiswick-based actor Richard Briers, aged seventy-nine.

His agent announced that he passed away "peacefully" at his home on Sunday (Feb 17).

Known to millions for his role as the hapless Tom in the 1970s BBC comedy series 'The Good Life', opposite Felicity Kendall, the actor had been battling a serious lung condition for five years.

richard briers

Richard Briers was known for his ability to play a wide variety of roles and appeared in successful shows including 'Ever Decreasing Circles' and 'Monarch of the Glen'. The Sixties comedy ' Marriage Lines' in which he starred with his lifelong friend, actress Prunella Scales, is being re-released on DVD. He also played a number of Shakesperian roles.

He recently blamed years of smoking for his emphysema and estimated he had smoked over 500,000 cigarettes during his lifetime although he quit ten years ago. In an interview given only weeks ago, he talked about his failing health and said he became breathless upon the slightest exertion.

The actor was born in London on 14 January 1934 and was inspired to be an actor by his mother, a music and drama teacher.

His agent, Christopher 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.

Sunday Telegraph theatre critic Tim Walker said he was a " proper, grown-up stage actor" who was very much respected in the profession and had "an appetite for hard work".

He is survived by his wife Anne Davies to whom he was married for 55 years, and two daughters Lucy and Katie Briers who are also actors.


February 18, 2013