Sunday 11 December 2016

Entertainer Ronnie Corbett dies aged 85

Independent.ie Newsdesk & Agencies

Published 31/03/2016 | 11:55

Ronnie poses beside a statue tribute to his long time comedy partner
Ronnie poses beside a statue tribute to his long time comedy partner
Ronnie was married to Anne Hart
Ronnie Corbett on Graham Norton's TV show
With Ronnie Barker, at Buckingham Palace, after receiving the OBE
Co-star Ronnie Barker died in 2005
Ronnie Corbett collecting his CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2012

Entertainer Ronnie Corbett, best known for The Two Ronnies, has died aged 85, his publicist has said.

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The much-loved British entertainer was surrounded by family and friends when he passed away.

A statement from his publicist said: " Ronnie Corbett CBE, one of the nation's best-loved entertainers, passed away this morning, surrounded by his loving family.

"They have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time."

With Ronnie Barker, at Buckingham Palace, after receiving the OBE
With Ronnie Barker, at Buckingham Palace, after receiving the OBE

Born Ronald Balfour Corbett in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1930, Corbett rose to fame with Barker on 1960s satirical programme The Frost Report.

He is best known in the U.K. for his sketch show The Two Ronnies with Ronnie Barker, which ran in the 1970s and 1980s. Barker died in 2005.

Ronnie was married to Anne Hart
Ronnie was married to Anne Hart

He also appeared in the sitcoms Sorry!, No – That's Me Over Here!, game show Small Talk and voiced the character Po in children's TV show Teletubbies.

He had suffered a string of health problems in recent years. He collapsed at a dinner to celebrate him being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2012, and was taken to hospital again in 2014 with gall bladder problems.

Co-star Ronnie Barker died in 2005
Co-star Ronnie Barker died in 2005

The five-foot comedian is survived by his wife Anne Hart, who he married in 1965.

The couple had three children, but their first child , son Andrew, died at six weeks due to a heart defect. His two daughters Emma and Sophie Corbett are actresses.

Ronnie Corbett collecting his CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2012
Ronnie Corbett collecting his CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2012

Corbett and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year.

The much-loved actor was awarded a CBE in the 2012 New Year Honours for his services to charity and the entertainment industry.

His wife later revealed that, during a celebration to mark the achievement, he had collapsed in a restaurant and was rushed to hospital.

Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, said: "Ronnie Corbett was a wonderful comic and entertainer. A man of great charm and warmth who brought laughter and joy to millions. He was quite simply one of the true greats of British comedy. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

His Two Ronnies co-star Barker died in 2005.

The pair's partnership dated back to a fortuitous meeting with David Frost, who invited Corbett to appear in The Frost Report.

Following his success alongside Frost, Barker and John Cleese in The Frost Report, Corbett went on to enjoy a string of other TV successes including Corbett's Follies and No, That's Me Over Here.

The small screen aside, Corbett's talents also extended to the theatre and big screen.

He starred in a host of theatre productions such as The Seven Year Itch and Out Of Order. A notable film appearance was his stint in John Cleese's 1996 follow-up to A Fish Called Wanda, Fierce Creatures.

He also had roles in big-name titles such as Top Of The Form, You're Only Young Once, Casino Royale, and No Sex Please, We're British.

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