British actor Sam Kelly, best known for his roles in Allo Allo and Porridge, has died at the age of 70.
The Manchester-born star’s agent Lynda Ronan said Kelly died peacefully after a long illness “bravely fought”.
She said: “He does not leave any family but a host of friends who were his chosen family.”
Former Doctor Who Colin Baker paid tribute on Twitter to his colleague from drama school, describing Kelly as a “lovely, funny, talented chap”.
“Cannot believe that lovely Sam Kelly has died,” he added. “So sad”.
Baker studied alongside Kelly at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in the 1960s.
A tribute also came from Quadrophenia film actor Phil Davis, who said on Twitter: “So sad to hear that Sam Kelly has died, a wonderful actor, a proper gent and one of the funniest men I ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Kelly played Nazi captain Hans Geering in the first four series of the BBC’s ‘Allo ‘Allo and prisoner Bunny Warren in Porridge. His other roles include the ITV sitcom Barbara and On the Up, in which he appeared alongside Dennis Waterman and Joan Sims.
In February this year, Kelly withdrew from his role as the Wizard of Oz in the West End play Wicked due to ill health.