Andrew Sachs of Fawlty Towers dies at 86

Fawlty Towers was ranked number one in a list of 100 Greatest British Television Programmes in 2000
Fawlty Towers was ranked number one in a list of 100 Greatest British Television Programmes in 2000
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Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs, who played hapless Spanish waiter Manuel in the BBC sitcom, has died aged 86, his family has confirmed.

The actor died on 23 November and was buried on Thursday, according to an interview with his wife Melody in the Daily Mail.

She told the newspaper that Sachs was diagnosed with dementia four years ago.

On his role of Manuel, Sachs said in 2014: “It was just a part I was playing and people seemed to laugh.”

Manuel was one of the most imitated comedy characters of the 1970s. The waiter, who famously hailed from Barcelona, often said little more than the word “Que?” to generate laughs, but arguably his most famous line was “I know nothing”.

The waiter was regularly shown being hit by John Cleese’s hotel manager character, Basil Fawlty.

“I never got upset when he hit me,” Sachs said in 2014.

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“He’s my friend, I must say yes, yes [it hurt], several times, more than once.”

Sachs had dozens of other acting roles, both serious and comic, including stints in TV’s two biggest soaps.

In 2009, Sachs played the role of Ramsey Clegg, half-brother of Norris Cole, in ITV’s Coronation Street and in 2015 he briefly joined the BBC’s EastEnders as Cyril Bishop.

Sachs inadvertantly became the subject of headlines in 2008 when he received a series of lewd answerphone messages from Russell Brand and fellow BBC Radio 2 presenter Jonathan Ross, relating to his granddaughter.

The so-called Sachsgate affair resulted in Brand and the controller of Radio 2 resigning. Ross was suspended from broadcasting for three months and a review was held into the way BBC output was vetted.


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