'To The Manor Born' star Peter Bowles has died aged 85

File photo dated 21/10/81 of actor Peter Bowles who has died aged 85. Issue date: Thursday March 17, 2022.
Peter Bowles has died aged 85. (PA)

To The Manor Born star Peter Bowles has died at the age of 85.

The actor — best known for playing Richard DeVere in the hit BBC sitcom — had been battling cancer.

A statement to the PA news agency said: “The actor Peter Bowles has sadly passed away at the age of 85 from cancer.

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“Starting his career at the Old Vic Theatre in 1956, he starred in 45 theatrical productions ending at the age of 81 in The Exorcist at the Phoenix Theatre.

File photo dated 20/09/81 of actress Penelope Keith, as Audrey fforbes-Hamilton, with Peter Bowles who plays her wealthy would be suitor, Richard DeVere in their popular TV series, 'To The Manor Born', on location at Cricket House, Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. Peter Bowles has died aged 85. Issue date: Thursday March 17, 2022.
Peter Bowles with Dame Penelope Keith. (PA)

“He worked consistently on stage and screen, becoming a household name on TV as the archetypal English gent in To The Manor Born, Only When I Laugh, The Bounder and Lytton’s Diary, which he devised himself.

“He leaves his wife of over 60 years, Sue, and their three children Guy, Adam and Sasha.”

Piers Morgan was among those to pay tribute.

LONDON - MARCH 17:  Actor Peter Bowles poses while at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) headquarters in London,England on the 17th of March 2005. (Photo by Cambridge Jones/Getty Images)
Actor Peter Bowles at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) in 2005. (Cambridge Jones/Getty Images)

Sharing a picture of the late actor, he tweeted: "RIP Peter Bowles, 85.

"Wonderful actor who exuded roguish British charm. Loved him in To The Manor Born, Lytton’s Diary & The Bounder.

"Sad news."

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Actor Scot Williams posted: "Peter Bowles has died.

"I will remember him most for H.A.P.P.Y. Always watched that as a kid."

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Bowles was born in London in 1936 and his parents were servants of nobility, with his father working for one of the sons of the Earl of Sandwich and his mum employed by the heir of the Duke of Argyll in Scotland.

He got started on the stage and played villains in TV series including The Avengers and The Saint. He also appeared on the big screen in films such as Eyewitness, Colour Me Kubrick, and The Bank Job.

But he really made his name alongside Dame Penelope Keith in To The Manor Born, which aired from 1979 to 1981 and was a huge success.

File photo dated 30/01/18 of Peter Bowles attending The Oldie of the Year Awards, at Simpsons in the Strand, central London, as the actor has died aged 85. Issue date: Thursday March 17, 2022.
The actor appeared in Victoria. (PA)

His recent jobs include 2018 drama film Together and comedy Off The Rails, which was released last year.

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From 2016 to 2019 he played the Duke Of Wellington in Victoria.

Additional reporting by PA.

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