Veteran Actor Sir Donald Sinden Dies Aged 90

Veteran Actor Sir Donald Sinden Dies Aged 90

The veteran stage and television actor Sir Donald Sinden has died at the age of 90, his son has said.

The star, who made his name as a Shakespearean actor before becoming well known in sitcoms and TV dramas, had been battling prostate cancer for several years.

He died at his home in Romney Marsh, Kent.

Sir Donald's best known roles on TV included parts in Never The Twain, Two's Company and Judge John Deed.

Among his film roles were The Cruel Sea, Doctor In The House, A Day To Remember and The Day Of The Jackal.

His deep voice and theatrical manner made the popular actor a target for affectionate satire on Spitting Image in the 1980s.

He was made a CBE in 1979 and was knighted in 1997.

His son, actor and director, Marc Sinden said in a statement: "My father has finished dying. He suffered for a few years from prostate cancer which slowly spread.

"Even though his death was expected, it is still a huge loss to his family and we, his brother, his son, his four grandchildren and great-grandchild will all miss his humour and knowledge and we would all like to share our appreciation for the Pilgrims Hospice and the carers that looked after him and us with such dignity, consideration and care until the end."

Most recently Sir Donald presented a Sky Arts programme, Great West End Theatres, until a stroke made it too difficult for him.

Marc Sinden said: "He worked out that he only had a total of five weeks unemployment between 1942 and 2008, which was probably a record in itself. Another record he held from 1949 until 2013 was at the Haymarket Theatre in his beloved West End of London, where he gave more consecutive performances in one play than any other actor since it was built in 1820."

He said plans for a memorial service were under way.

Sir Donald was married to actress Diana Mahony until her death in 2004. His other son, the actor Jeremy Sinden, died from lung cancer in 1996.

West End theatres have announced they intend to dim their lights to mark the death of Sir Donald.

The gesture takes place at 7pm tonight and will last for a minute as the venues - many of which have welcomed him to their stages - turn down the lights on their exterior canopies.