Eric Sykes dies, aged 89

The legendary actor and comedian has passed away after a short illness

Actor and comedian Eric Sykes has passed away at the age of 89.

In a statement reported today (July 4) by the BBC, his manager Norma Farnes confirmed: “Eric Sykes, 89, star of TV, stage and films, died peacefully this morning after a short illness. His family were with him.”

Sykes built his reputation writing for TV and radio in the 1950s, before becoming a TV star when he forged a popular screen partnership with Hattie Jacques. Their sitcom, Sykes And A…, ran for 125 episodes between 1960 and 1979.

More recently, Sykes appeared in New Tricks, dinnerladies and My Family, continuing to work after suffering a stroke and undergoing heart bypass surgery in 2002. He also appeared in numerous films, including The Others, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire and Son Of Rambow. He was made a CBE in 1986 and an OBE in 2004.

Paying tribute to the late performer, former BBC Head of Comedy Jon Plowman said: “We won’t see his like again. He was a wonderful improviser. His genius was both as a scriptwriter but also someone who could do stuff off the cuff. He was classless and funny and warm.”

Sykes is survived by his wife Edith, three daughters and a son.