Rodney Bewes has died aged 79, his agent has confirmed.
The actor had a career spanning six decades and is best known for playing Bob Ferris in sitcom The Likely Lads.
His agent issued a statement saying: “It is with great sadness that we confirm that our dear client, the much-loved actor Rodney Bewes, passed away this morning.”
The statement paid tribute to the actor, calling him a “true one-off” and a “brilliant storyteller”.
“He had a funny anecdote for every occasion. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. We will miss him terribly.”
- Read more here – Obituary: Rodney Bewes
Bewes was originally from Bingley in Yorkshire but moved to Luton as a child.
Despite childhood asthma keeping him house-bound until the age of 12, he achieved his first role at the age of 14 and went on to study drama at RADA.
He gained fame in the 1960s and 1970s playing Bob Ferris in the BBC sitcom The Likely Lads, and in its sequel, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? – which drew audiences of up to 27m.
In 1984, he became a member of the Doctor Who cast during Peter Davison’s run as the Time Lord, portraying a humanoid named Stien in Resurrection Of The Daleks.
He died six days before he would have celebrated his 80th birthday.
Bewes is survived by his four children – Billy, Joe, Tom and Daisy – and his two grandchildren, Oscar and Eliza.
Shane Allen, controller BBC Comedy, said Bewes was “beloved as one half of the great British sitcom partnerships of all time”.
He added: “Audiences got to see him go from black and white to colour as the revival was a huge hit with audiences of all ages. It’s one of the all-time great BBC sitcoms; timeless in its humour and will be enjoyed for decades to come.”
Tributes have also been pouring in for the star on social media.
TV presenters Ant and Dec called Bewes a “fine comic actor”.
Comedian Jack Dee said The Likely Lads was one of the “great” sitcoms.
Radio presenter Danny Baker described The Likely Lads as “the gold standard” and “envy of the comedic world”.
Writer and actor Julian Dutton described Bewes as “a fine actor”.
Actor and comedian Tom Davis said Bewes starred in “landmark British sitcoms”.
And Olympic rower Matthew Pinsent paid tribute to the actor, who he said used to cheer on crews at Henley.