The Good Life star Richard Briers dead at 79

12:38 18 February 2013

Richard Briers was known to millions for his role in TVs The Good Life. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Richard Briers was known to millions for his role in TVs The Good Life. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Actor Richard Briers, star of the TV sitcom The Good Life, has died.

Richard and his wife, Annie, in Leicester Square, central London. File picture: Ian West/PA WireRichard and his wife, Annie, in Leicester Square, central London. File picture: Ian West/PA Wire

The star, who was also known for his Shakespearean roles, died peacefully at his London home yesterday aged 79, his agent said.

He had been battling a serious lung condition for a number of years.

Briers, who also starred in shows such as Ever Decreasing Circles and Monarch Of The Glen, recently said years of smoking had been to blame for his emphysema.

He will be best remembered for his performance as Tom Good, alongside Felicity Kendal, in the 1970s BBC1 sitcom The Good Life about a couple who drop out of the rat race in Surbiton to enjoy a self-sufficient life.

Felicity Kendal, who played Barbara, and Richard Briers, known to viewers as Tom, in The Good Life. Picture: BBC/PA WireFelicity Kendal, who played Barbara, and Richard Briers, known to viewers as Tom, in The Good Life. Picture: BBC/PA Wire

In a recent interview, the actor told how his health was failing after being diagnosed with emphysema five years ago, which he attributed to years of smoking, although he gave up 10 years ago.

He said: “I was diagnosed five years ago and didn’t think it would go quite as badly as it has. It’s a bugger, but there it is. I used to love smoking.

“It’s totally my fault. So, I get very breathless, which is a pain in the backside. Trying to get upstairs... oh God, it’s ridiculous.

“Of course, when you’re bloody nearly 80 it’s depressing, because you’ve had it anyway.”

Briers pictured with Robert Lindsay and Lord Attenborough. File picture: Andy Butterton/PA WireBriers pictured with Robert Lindsay and Lord Attenborough. File picture: Andy Butterton/PA Wire

His agent, Christopher Farrar, of Hamilton Hodell, said: “Richard was a wonderful man, a consummate professional and an absolute joy to work alongside.

“Following his recent discussion of his battle with emphysema, I know he was incredibly touched by the strength of support expressed by friends and the public.

“He has a unique and special place in the hearts of so many. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his family at this sad time.”

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