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Are You Being Served? actor Frank Thornton dies aged 92

By Emcfarnon  |  Posted: March 18, 2013

Frank Thornton was familiar to viewers for his role as Truly in Last Of The Summer Wine - picture YouTube

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Actor Frank Thornton has died at the age of 92.

Thornton, who played Captain Peacock in BBC comedy Are You Being Served?, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Barnes, London, on Saturday.

David Daly, who has been Thornton's agent since 1986, told the BBC: "He has been the most wonderful client as well as being a great friend. He will be sorely missed."

Thornton was a familiar face on British TV screens, having played the pompous store walker in popular sitcom Are You Being Served?.

He then re-enacted the role of Captain Peacock for the spin-off show, Grace & Favour, in 1992.

Thornton also appeared in several episodes of Steptoe and Son and in later years in ITV soap Emmerdale as Bert Dingle.

He had a long-standing role in Last of the Summer Wine, remaining on the show until it ended in 2010.

Thornton also appeared on the silver screen, featuring in films Carry On Screaming!; Some Will, Some Won't; No Sex Please, We're British and Gosford Park.

Born in Dulwich, south London in 1921, he became an actor after enrolling in evening classes while working for an insurance firm.

After serving as an officer in the RAF during the Second World War, Thornton landed his first credited role in the 1954 film, Radio Cab Murder.

Are You Being Served? co-creator Jeremy Lloyd said he was "very sad to hear this news".

"He was a great friend and consummate performer who was the glue who really held Are You Being Served? together," he said.

"He will continue to give people enjoyment."

Meanwhile tributes to the actor have poured in on Twitter. Stephen Fry tweeted: “Oh how sad. So long Frank Thornton. He was wonderful in “Me and My Girl” in the 80s where I got to know him. And in AYBS? of course RIP xxx”.

Meanwhile Twitter user @TheDSWF wrote: “Sorry to hear the news about Frank Thornton - a long time and loyal supporter. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts go out to his family.”

And @6LDA_RJJ tweeted: “So we've lost another acting/comic legend. Sad times. Frank Thornton will be sorely missed”.

Thornton leaves Beryl, his wife of 67 years, their daughter Jane and their three grandchildren.

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  • Listener  |  March 21 2013, 3:25PM

    Very sad. He will be missed I am sure.