Heartbeat and Blackadder actor Peter Benson dies
Heartbeat actor Peter Benson, who played Bernie Scripps in the popular ITV series for 18 years, has died, his manager said.
Benson died aged 75 on Thursday after a short illness.
In the police drama set in the 1960s, he played a funeral director who got into disastrous money-making schemes. He appeared in all 18 series from 1992.
Benson also played Henry VII in BBC comedy Blackadder, and appeared more recently in hospital drama, Casualty.
As well as his TV work, he was also a skilled singer, dancer and theatre actor who portrayed the title role in Shakespeare's Henry VI in a BBC television adaption of the play in 1983.
Former Heartbeat co-star Steven Blakeley, who played PC Geoff Younger in the show, was among those to pay tribute.
There would "never be another like you – talented, kind and gentle in equal measure", said Blakeley.
Skip Twitter post by @steven_blakeley
Farewell Peter Benson. You made me laugh so much. There’ll never be another like you – talented,kind&gentle in equal measure. Bless you&rest well sir. pic.twitter.com/hpzRm22WIk
— Steven Blakeley (@steven_blakeley) September 6, 2018
End of Twitter post by @steven_blakeley
Lisa Kay, who played the character of Emma Bryden, wrote on Twitter: "He was always a total gentleman and great fun to work with. He was dearly loved and shall be missed terribly by his Heartbeat family."
And Fiona Dolman, who played PC Mike Bradley's solicitor wife, Jackie, paid tribute to a "kind, funny, brilliant, gentle and deliciously sarcastic" man.
Skip Twitter post by @FionaDolman
What sad news. Peter Benson was one of the best. Kind, funny, brilliant, gentle and deliciously sarcastic. He was an absolute joy to work with and will be missed by so many. ? pic.twitter.com/H4l5Jp7wn5
— Fiona Dolman (@FionaDolman) September 6, 2018
End of Twitter post by @FionaDolman
Heartbeat, which ran until 2010, was one of ITV's top-rated dramas in its heyday, drawing about 14 million viewers in the first series.