Comic actor Eric Sykes (89) dies


British comic actor and writer Eric Sykes (89) has died, his manager said today.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Sykes was a regular collaborator on the popular 1950s radio comedy programme The Goon Show and became a leading star after appearing in several hit television series.

"Eric Sykes, 89, star of television, stage and film, died peacefully this morning after a short illness," his manager Norma Farnes said. "His family were with him."

Recognisable by his heavy, black-rimmed glasses, Sykes wrote material for comedian Frankie Howerd and his successful radio show Variety Bandbox between 1944 and 1952.

That led to further radio work for Sykes, including the groundbreaking Goon Show, as well as leading television projects including The Howerd Crowd and The Tony Hancock Show.

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