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Richard Briers Has Died
The actor was 79

18 February 2013  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  

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Richard Briers

Much-loved TV and Shakespearean actor Richard Briers has died aged 79. He died peacefully at home after suffering from a chronic lung complaint for a number of years.

Born in Surrey in 1934, Briers became a living room staple thanks to a long-standing stint in the BBC’s The Good Life, in which he played cantankerous Tom Good to Felicity Kendal’s Barbara from 1975 to 1978, but his profile had already been established thanks to a successful career as a stage and TV actor.

Encouraged by his mother’s career as a drama teacher, as a teenager Briers made his way into RADA via stints as a filing clerk and national service in the RAF. From there he made a name for himself on stage doing repertory theatre in Liverpool and Coventry. His performances in West End productions caught the eye of TV producers who cast him in Marriage Lines and Brothers In Law.

Other television work saw Briers' endearing and occasionally scratchy on-screen persona light up Ever Decreasing Circles and Monarch Of The Glen. On the big screen, meanwhile, his lifelong passion for Shakespeare parlayed into turns in Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost and As You Like It. There were also smaller roles in Peter’s Friends, Spice World and Run For Your Wife, as well as a turn as a wonderfully badass OAP in last year’s underrated Cockneys Vs Zombies.

Briers, who was awarded an OBE in 1989, is survived by his wife Anne Davies and two daughters.


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Your Comments

Rest In Peace, Mr. Briers. You Will Be Missed...
That is sad. Richard Briers was an excellent Shakespearean actor. I loved him in Branagh's Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Love's Labours Lost, and Frankenstein. Rest in Peace and my deepest sympathies go out to his family. More

Posted by Anthony Lynch at 03:54 on 19 February 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Will be sadly missed!
Awww, that's sad news. He was awesome, I grew up watching his sitcoms and loved Roobarb and Alias The Jester when I was young too. He was also the best thing about Cockneys Vs Zombies in my opinion. RIP More

Posted by Shifty Bench at 21:38 on 18 February 2013 | Report This Post

Will be sadly missed!
A great actor of comedy, drama and Shakespeare. Such a warming screen presence that will be sadly missed on British television. More

Posted by dannyfletch at 21:27 on 18 February 2013 | Report This Post

He's Gone From The Good Life To A Better Life
Oh no, not good old Richard Briers. How sad, he seemed like such a nice man and was a fine actor. My favourite scene of his is the one he did with Robert De Niro in Branagh's Frankenstein purely for the fact that when De Niro was doing the nihilistic Taxi Driver in 1976, Richard Briers was doing sweet sitcom The Good Life. It was a bizarre combination that worked well as they were both such good actors. I will miss him as I'm sure everyone will. Goodbye Richard. RIP More

Posted by BenTramer at 16:32 on 18 February 2013 | Report This Post

R.I.P.
And thank you. More

Posted by nybras at 14:38 on 18 February 2013 | Report This Post

Sad Face
What a Legend - watership down nuff said More

Posted by cousinwalter at 14:06 on 18 February 2013 | Report This Post

RIP Mr Briers
Seriously sad news. Not only a great cinematic actor, but also part of some superb television - The Good Life, Ever Decreasing Circles... RIP Mr Briers. More

Posted by film man aidy at 13:08 on 18 February 2013 | Report This Post

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