Veteran UK performer Peter Sallis, best known for Wallace and Gromit and Last of the Summer Wine, has died aged 96.
In a statement, Jonathan Altaras Associates said: “It is with sadness that we announce that our client Peter Sallis died peacefully, with his family by his side, at Denville Hall on Friday 2 June.”
Sallis was the voice of Wallace, the cheese-loving character in the animated Wallace and Gromit films.
Creator Nick Park said, “I’m so sad, but feel so grateful and privileged to have known and worked with Peter over so many years. He was always my first and only choice for Wallace.
“Working with him was always a delight and I will miss his wry, unpredictable humour and silliness – that started the moment he greeted you at the door, and didn’t stop when the mic was switched off.”
But he had already carved out a distinguished career in the theatre and on television before the animated series.
Sallis played mild-mannered Norman “Cleggy” Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine from its first episode in 1973 until the series concluded in 2010. He was the only actor to appear in all 295 episodes of the sitcom.
Other credits included Doctors, Holby City, Rumpole of the Bailey, The Wind in the Willows, Leave it to Charlie and The Persuaders.
“It is pleasing knowing millions are going to see your work and enjoy it,” he once said of Wallace and Gromit. “To still be involved in a project like this at my age is heartwarming.
“To have a legacy like this is very comforting. I am very lucky to have been involved.”