UK actor Andrew Sachs, best known as ‘Manuel’ in Fawlty Towers, has died aged 86.
He passed away in a care home last week, after a four year battle with dementia.
Sachs played the clueless Spanish waiter on the classic British sitcom for its 12 episode run but it would resonate for decades.
“It was just a part I was playing and people seemed to laugh,” he once said.
Beginning his acting career on BBC radio, he went on to appear in The Saint, The History of Miss Polly, Casualty, Minder, Bergerac, Eastenders, Coronation Street, Holby City, Silent Witness and Doctor Who.
John Cleese paid tribute to him saying: “Just heard about Andy Sachs. Very sad…. I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall,but I had no idea that his life was in danger.
“A very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur. I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973. I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired.”
Sachs is also remembered in 2008 for being the innocent victim of a BBC furore in which Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made an obscene calls to him in which they joked about Brand sleeping with his granddaughter Georgina Baillie.
More than 500 people protested to the BBC which was forced to apologise to Sachs for these “unacceptable and offensive” remarks.
In 2014, Sachs said he remained “disgusted” by the incident, with his wife telling the Daily Mail the episode had been “absolutely horrific”.
The newspaper last night reported the actor had been battling dementia for the past four years and died in a care home last week.
“I never once heard him grumble. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, he still worked for two years,” she said.
“We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment. He had dementia for four years and we didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going.
“It didn’t get really bad until quite near the end. I nursed Andrew, I was there for every moment of it.”
Sachs only lost his capacity to speak in the last few weeks, after suffering three bouts of pneumonia. He spent eight months in a care home, in which his family would read to him and enjoy summer in the garden.
“Don’t feel sorry for me because I had the best life with him,” she said. “I had the best husband and we really loved each other.”