Deaths 2022

Deaths 2021

Deaths 2020

Deaths 2019

Deaths 2018

Deaths 2017

Deaths 2016

Deaths 2015

Deaths 2014

Deaths 2013

Deaths 2012

Deaths 2011

Deaths 2010

Deaths 2009

Full list by date of death

Eric Sykes


Born - 4 May 1923, Oldham, Lancashire, UK
Died - 4 July 2012

Lanky, lugubrious, lank-haired English comic actor with slow, deliberate speech. Originally a gag writer for radio comedy, notably The Goon Show, he played a few cameos in films before appearing briefly in leading roles from 1961 to 1964, then stealing films from those billed above him in all star-comedies. Best remembered though for his long-running TV comedy series in partnership with Hattie Jacques. Together with early appearances by other British comedy stalwarts (Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Sidney James, Bill Fraser), Sykes, whose mournful features looked born to portray undertakers (he did once play one), made his film debut in the creaky army farce Orders Are Orders (1954), which he also co-wrote. Later, he was seen in Charley Moon (1956), Tommy the Toreador (1959), Watch Your Stern (1960) and Very Important Person (1961), before leading roles in Invasion Quartet (1961), Village of Daughters (1961), Kill or Cure (1962, the first of three in harness with Terry-Thomas), Heavens Above! (1963) and One-Way Pendulum (1964). Reverting to cameos, he made Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965), Rotten to the Core (1965), The Liquidator (1965), The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966), The Plank (1967, which he also directed), Shalako (1968), Monte Carlo or Bust (1969), Rhubarb (1970, also directed), The Alf Garnett saga (1972), and Theatre of Blood (1973), before TV reclaimed him. In his later years, when he became almost totally deaf, there were a few more films: The Boys in Blue (1982), Absolute Beginners (1986), Splitting Heirs (1993), The Others (2001), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and Son of Rambow (2007), his last. He and his wife celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary a few months before his death 'after a short illness'.