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Tributes to a legend: actor Richard Briers dies aged 79

By Emcfarnon  |  Posted: February 18, 2013

Richard Briers recently appeared in British comedy film Cockneys versus Zombies

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Actor Richard Briers has died at the age of 79 after battling a lung condition.

The actor, best known for his role in BBC comedy The Good Life, died "peacefully" at his London home on Sunday, his agent said.

The accomplished stage actor had been ill with emphysema for a number of years. His death comes just weeks after Briers confirmed to the press he was struggling with a lung condition.

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.”

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Briers’ television and stage career spanned several decades. Having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), he won a scholarship to Liverpool Playhouse in 1956.

Two years later he made his first West End appearance in Gilt And Gingerbread.

He went on to star in Monarch Of The Glen, Doctor Who and Ever Decreasing Circles, and was the voice of Fiver in the animated feature Watership Down.

Briers also narrated the children's cartoon series Roobarb and Custard.

He appeared most recently in British comedy film Cockneys versus Zombies, and enjoyed a cameo role in Run For Your Wife. His other film credits include Peter Pan and Frankenstein.

He was cast as Bardolph in Henry V, as Stephen Fry's father in the comedy Peter's Friends, Don Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing and the blind grandfather in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Briers joined Kenneth Branagh's Renaissance Theatre Company in 1987, and would in the years which followed play Malvolio in Twelfth Night, King Lear, Menenius in Coriolanus and the title role in Uncle Vanya.

Briers was in 1989 awarded the OBE for services to the arts.

Twitter has today been flooded with tributes to the legendry actor, a father of two and the husband of actor Ann Davies. ‘Richard Briers’ is currently trending on the social networking site:

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