Vicar Of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn has died at the age of 78.
The actor was best known for playing bullish Councillor David Horton in every episode of the popular TV sitcom from 1994 to 2007.
His most recent appearance came in a Christmas special, The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown, alongside star Dawn French, who plays Rev Geraldine Granger, and James Fleet, who plays his on-screen son Hugo.
His son, Josh Waldhorn, said he “peacefully passed away” at 6.45am on Monday.
“We will all miss him terribly,” he said.
“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.”
Fellow actor Samuel West paid tribute to Waldhorn on Twitter, calling him a “lovely man and a terrific actor”.
He posted a picture of himself, his father Timothy West and Waldhorn, with the words: “Sad news about Gary Waldhorn. He played my dad, the eponymous king, in both parts of Henry IV at the Old Vic in 1997 (here with my actual dad as the ultimate non-father, Falstaff). A lovely man and a terrific actor. RIP.”
Waldhorn appeared in classic British TV shows including The Sweeney, Brush Strokes and Hotel Babylon, and even featured in comedy sketch show French And Saunders.
He was an accomplished Shakespearean actor and had performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company in productions such as Much Ado About Nothing.
Walorn also played the part of Max alongside BAFTA winner Trevor Howard in the movie Sir Henry At Rawlinson End, and provided voiceovers in adverts for Green Flag, Kwik Fit, Branston and Marmite among others.
A statement from the BBC Comedy team said: “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.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”