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.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Monday, August 3, 2015
Police stopped the car along City Road.

A shotgun and several knives have been recovered by police after a car was stopped in Islington this afternoon.

Monday, August 3, 2015
The bus's roof looks as if it was sliced off in the accident (Photo: @Chromrisan)

Four people including a honeymooning bride have been rushed to hospital after a doubledecker tourist bus crashed into a tree branch, ripping the roof off.

Monday, August 3, 2015
He leans right over the tracks - then jumps down onto them (Photo: YouTube)

A trainspotter’s camera caught a reckless man jumping onto the tracks at Peckham Rye Overground station to rescue his mobile phone.

Monday, August 3, 2015
The victim was dragged into a secluded area near Tudor Close and raped (Photo: Google StreetView)

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was raped near Tudor Close in Brixton Hill in a seemingly random attack on Sunday.

Monday, August 3, 2015
The new 24 hour strike is set for August 5 (Picture: Getty)

London Underground (LU) and the transport unions are trying to avoid a 24 hour strike from Wednesday, but Unite has already rejected the offer on the table.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more