Fawlty Towers legend dies after secret illness

The star battled a four year illness

| Updated:

Comedy fans were devastated at the news of the shock death of Fawlty Towers legend Andrew Sachs.

The 86 year old funnyman, who played hapless Spanish waiter, had been living with vascular dementia for four years.

Although he spent his final weeks in in a care home last week, his wife Melody, cared for him throughout his illness.

“We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment,” she told the Mainline. “He had dementia for four years and we didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going.”

She went on to reveal that toward the end of Andrew’s life, he had lost the ability to speak and write, and that she would read him stories as the pair sat in the grounds of his care home.

Andrew’s co-starJohn Cleese, Sachs’ Fawlty Towers co-star, was among the first to pay tribute.

“Just heard about Andy Sachs,” he said. “Very sad. I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall, but I had no idea that his life was in danger.

“A very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur. I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973. I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired”

Radio DJ Tony Blackburn said: “So sad that Andrew Sachs has passed away. This terrible year goes on & on.

“He gave us all so many laughs on Fawlty Towers, thank you.R.I.P.”

While best known for his role in the legendary comedy, Andrew was splashed across the news back in 2008 when Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand phone pranked him on live radio.

“For all my family, the unpleasant incident that hit the headlines in October 2008 was hugely distressing,: he said back in 2014

“Brand and Ross were like two teenagers on the rampage, laughing at their own jokes, which is not something the best comics usually do.

“Their lewd banter was deeply hurtful for me, my wife, our daughter and our granddaughter. It not only caused pain but huge stress to the family.”