‘Fawlty Towers’ actor Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

German-born performer, who played Manuel in 1970s sitcom, suffered with dementia

 Andrew Sachs and John Cleese as Manuel and Basil Fawlty in ‘Fawlty Towers’. File photograph: BBC publicity shot

Andrew Sachs and John Cleese as Manuel and Basil Fawlty in ‘Fawlty Towers’. File photograph: BBC publicity shot

 

Comic actor Andrew Sachs, best known for playing Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, has died aged 86.

The German-born performer was said to have struggled with vascular dementia for four years before his death at a care home and was buried on Thursday, according to reports.

His wife of 57 years, Melody Sachs, told the Daily Mail: “It wasn’t all doom and gloom, he still worked for two years [after his diagnosis in 2012]. We were happy, we were always laughing we never had a dull moment.

“He had dementia for four years and it wasn’t very pleasant. We didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going.

“It didn’t get really bad until quite near the end. I nursed Andrew, I was there for every moment of it.”

She said the father-of-three, whose parents fled the Nazis in 1938, refused to complain about his deteriorating health.

Ms Sachs (86) told the Mail her husband lost his ability to speak and write during his final few weeks, and he was unable to feed himself or eat during his final days.

Sachs became a household name as the hapless Manuel in the 1970s sitcom.

From 1984-1986, Sachs starred as Father Brown in a BBC radio series based on the stories of GK Chesterton. He also appeared in numerous children’s TV shows before going on to play Ramsay Clegg in Coronation Street in 2009.

He slipped from public life as his illness took hold.

PA