'Vicar of Dibley' star Gary Waldhorn dies aged 78

Gary Waldhorn has died. (Getty Images)
Gary Waldhorn has died. (Getty Images)

The actor Gary Waldhorn, best known for his starring role in The Vicar of Dibley, has died aged 78, his family has said.

Waldhorn played Councillor David Horton in the sitcom, the chair of the parish council and father-in-law of curate Alice Tinker (Emma Chambers) who often clashed with Dawn French's vicar character Geraldine Granger.

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A statement from Waldhorn's son Josh said that he had "peacefully passed away" at 6.45am on Monday.

Actor Gary Waldhorn, who plays David Horton in 'The Vicar of Dibley arrives at the British Academy TV Awards (BAFTA's) in London.   (Photo by Rebecca Naden - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gary Waldhorn has died at 78. (Rebecca Naden - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

It read: "Classically trained, it was the theatre where he truly flourished and he leaves a legacy of entertainment that saw him frequent the boards of Broadway, the West End and our living rooms on the telly!

"He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley and his son Josh. We will all miss him terribly."

Waldhorn's other work included The Sweeney, Brush Strokes and Hotel Babylon, and most recently appeared in Christmas special The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown.

DIBLEY - MARCH 8: The cast of Vicar of Dibley (from left to right: Trevor Peacock, Dawn French, James Fleet, Damian Lewis, Gary Waldhorn, Roger Lloyd Pack and John Bluthal) pose together at the Comic Relief Special on 8 March, 2013 in Dibley. (Photo by Gary Moyes/Comic Relief/Getty Images)
The actor starred in 'The Vicar of Dibley'. (Gary Moyes/Comic Relief/Getty Images)

His work with the Royal Shakespeare Company also included appearing in Much Ado About Nothing, and he provided voiceovers for adverts for Green Flag, Kwik Fit, Branston and Marmite.

A statement from BBC Comedy read: "Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nations most treasured BBC shows, and of course as Councillor David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley.

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"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Sitcom The Vicar of Dibley has also lost a number of other stars in recent years, with Trevor Peacock who played Jim Trott dying in March 2021 and Emma Chambers, who starred as Alice Tinker, passing away in February 2018.

Watch: Vicar of Dibley star Trevor Peacock dies