Comedian Ronnie Corbett has died, aged 85.
The Scottish comedy legend’s publicist confirmed that he passed away on Thursday (31Mar16) surrounded by his loving family.
He is best known in the U.K. for his sketch show The Two Ronnies with Ronnie Barker, which ran in the 1970s and 1980s. Barker died in 2005.
He had suffered a string of health problems in recent years. He collapsed at a dinner to celebrate him being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2012, and was taken to hospital again in 2014 with gall bladder problems.
The five-foot comedian is survived by his wife Anne Hart, who he married in 1965. The couple had three children, but their first child , son Andrew, died at six weeks due to a heart defect. His two daughters Emma and Sophie Corbett are actresses.
Gladiator star Russell used one of Corbett’s most famous catchphrases in his tribute, writing on Twitter.com: “And it’s good night from Ronnie Corbett . Thanks for all the laughs mate.”
Fawlty Towers star John Cleese also paid tribute to his “mentor” in an emotional post: “Just heard about Ronnie C.So sad.He had the best timing I’ve ever watched.He was a great, kind mentor and a wonderfully witty companion.”
Upon hearing the news of Corbett’s passing Ricky tweeted: “RIP the lovely, funny legend Ronnie Corbett. It was an absolute honour & joy to have known him.” The pair previously worked together on Ricky’s show Extras, when Corbett appeared in a hilarious cameo.
David Walliams added in his own heartfelt message: “Goodbye my friend and comedy idol #RonnieCorbett Thank you for all the laughs. It was the greatest honour to know and work with you.”
While Jack Whitehall wrote: “RIP Ronnie Corbett, what a brilliant and funny man he was”, and Timmy Mallett posted: “God bless Ronnie Corbett. Small in stature with big glasses, huge heart and massive talent. Thank you for all the smiles and happiness.”
Flight of the Conchords star Jemaine Clement cited his favourite Corbett joke in his condolence message, writing:
Aw man. RIP Ronnie Corbett.
Favourite joke: sign on fortune teller's caravan "closed due to unforseen circumstances" https://t.co/Uc3h7j68Qq
— Jemaine Clement (@AJemaineClement) March 31, 2016
Omid Djalili referenced the amount of celebrity deaths already in 2016, writing: “And now Ronnie Corbett. What an absolutely delightful man. Sad sad news RIP.”
And Julian Clary tweeted: “R.I.P. Ronnie Corbett, a master of his craft and a huge star.”
Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss was also quick to pay tribute to the star, writing that the comedian had been “hugely supportive” during his early days on comedy show The League of Gentleman.
He added: “Ronnie Corbett was the most generous, charming and lovely man. The day after we won the Perrier (comedy award), I saw him in the queue. It was like being blessed by all our childhood Saturday nights. RIP dear man.”
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