Actor Andrew Sachs, Fawlty Towers' waiter Manuel, dies
Published 01/12/2016 | 23:16
Comic actor Andrew Sachs, best known for playing Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, has died.
The German-born performer was said to have battled vascular dementia for four years before his death at 86, at a care home and was buried on Thursday, according to reports.
His wife of 57 years, Melody Sachs, told the Daily Mail: "It wasn't all doom and gloom, he still worked for two years (after his diagnosis in 2012). We were happy, we were always laughing we never had a dull moment.
"He had dementia for four years and it wasn't very pleasant. 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."
She said the father-of-three, a native German speaker whose parents fled the Nazis in 1938, refused to complain about his deteriorating health.
Mrs Sachs, also 86, told the Mail her husband lost his ability to speak and write during his final few weeks, and he was unable to feed himself or eat during his final days.
Sachs became a household name as the hapless Manuel in the 1970s sitcom.
He would go on to play Ramsay Clegg in Coronation Street in 2009 - a year after the Sachsgate scandal in which Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made a prank call to the actor on the radio about his granddaughter. But he slipped from public life as his illness took hold.
Blackadder actor and comedian Sir Tony Robinson paid tribute to his "true friend".
He wrote on Twitter: " So sad that Andrew Sachs has died. A true friend and a kindred spirit.
"I still have the wonderful baby pictures he took of my children. RIP."
Samuel West, whose mother Prunella Scales starred alongside Sachs in Fawlty Towers, added: " Creator of one of our most beloved EU migrants. Such warmth and wit; impossible to think of him without smiling."
Comedy writer Edgar Wright said Sachs "spun comic gold as Manuel in Fawlty Towers".