Despite a huge list of television, stage, screen, radio and voiceover credits (with Roobarb and Custard among the latter), Briers is best known to Doctor Who fans as the Chief Caretaker in 1987′s much-maligned Paradise Towers, in which he appeared opposite Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy.
Born in South West London on January 14th, 1934 Briers – who was made an OBE in 1989 and a CBE in 2003 – was a cousin of comedy actor Terry-Thomas, but had a much wider degree of success in his own career, which spanned over 50 years.
Although his appearances were reduced as the years advanced, Briers continued to work. Just last month he told the Daily Mail about his emphysema while promoting a new DVD boxset of Marriage Lines alongside Prunella Scales, describing himself as “buggered”. He also appeared in movies Run For Your Wife and Cockneys vs Zombies in 2012.
Torchwood fans were able to see Briers in action with a superb performance as millionaire alien artifact collector Henry Parker in 2008′s A Day in the Death.
Pretty much a cultural icon, Richard Briers will be sadly missed by fans and colleagues alike. Several generations of Britons have grown up with his voice or face – both memorable – so let’s offer our sympathies to his family and find some of his superb TV show or movie performances to enjoy this evening.
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