British actor Andrew Sachs was known best for playing Spanish waiter Manuel on “Fawlty Towers.”
Andrew Sachs, the British actor known best for playing Spanish waiter Manuel on “Fawlty Towers,” died Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, according to multiple news sources. He was 86.
His wife, Melody Sachs, told The Telegraph that the actor had dementia for four years and died in a care home.
The British sitcom “Fawlty Towers,” created by and starring former Monty Python member John Cleese, ran for 12 episodes between 1975 and 1979. Sachs played Spanish waiter Manuel, whose unfortunate bumbling and limited English infuriated Cleese’s egotistical hotel owner. His excellent physical comedy and impeccable timing were key to the show’s appeal.
Sachs was born April 7, 1930, in Berlin, Germany. His father, who was Jewish, moved the family to Britain in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution.
He began appearing on British television in 1959 and worked throughout the 1960s in small roles on shows like “The Saint.” After his breakthrough in “Fawlty Towers,” he worked consistently on TV and radio on dozens of different shows. In 2009, he appeared in 27 episodes of the long-running soap opera “Coronation Street.”
Sachs continued to work even after he was first diagnosed with dementia. “It wasn’t all doom and gloom,” his wife, Melody told the Daily Mail, “We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment.”
Sachs is survived by his wife, Melody, and three children.
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