The Good Life star Richard Briers dies

Richard Briers. Photo/AP
Richard Briers. Photo/AP

Actor Richard Briers, known for his enduring role in TV sitcom The Good Life, has died at the age of 79.

The star, who was also known for his Shakespearean roles, had been battling the lung condition emphysema for a number of years.

Briers died at his London home on Sunday, his agent said.

He was the lynchpin of three of the most notable sitcoms ever made in Britain - Marriage Lines, The Good Life (shown in the United States as Good Neighbours) and Ever Decreasing Circles.

But after a long career in television, Briers joined Kenneth Branagh's Renaissance Theatre Company in 1987, and his already very successful professional life took a new turn as he moved on to major classical roles.

Briers was born on January 14, 1934 and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he won the silver medal and a scholarship to Liverpool Playhouse in 1956. Two years later he made his first West End appearance in Gilt And Gingerbread. He barely stopped working from that day onwards.

In recent years the actor's health deteriorated after being diagnosed with emphysema five years ago.

In an interview only a few weeks ago, he told how he blamed his years of smoking for the condition. "It's totally my fault. So, I get very breathless, which is a pain in the backside. Trying to get upstairs ... oh God, it's ridiculous. Of course, when you're bloody nearly 80 it's depressing, because you've had it anyway."

- PAA

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