Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis has died at the age of 79, his family has confirmed.
The actor, best known for playing Terrance Aubrey “Boycie” Boyce in the beloved sitcom, died “peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer,” his family said.
The full statement read: “It is with heavy hearts that we bring you such sad news. Our dear friend and yours, John Challis, has died peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer.
“He will always be loved for being ‘Boycie’ and leaves a great legacy of work that will continue to bring pleasure and smiles for many years to come.
“Please respect the privacy of John’s family and friends at this difficult time, and be assured that in the future there will be an occasion to celebrate John’s life – when everyone will be welcome to come along.”
John’s family has asked that, rather than sending flowers, fans make donations to animal charities Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk or British Hedgehogs.
The statement finished: “As Boycie would have said… you know it makes sense!”
Tributes began pouring in immediately, with one fan writing: “Terrible news, was a lovely man, had the pleasure of meeting him, a true gent.”
Another person said: “Oh no, such sad news! Thank goodness for video and DVD and TV, his memory will live on. RIP John.”
And a third wrote: “Heartbreaking. What an absolute legend. Boycie will always be one of the greatest characters of any TV show.”
John is survived by his fourth wife Carol. In 1995, the couple were married in Brighton.
He did not have any children but was passionately involved in animal welfare and was a patron to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
John was best known for Only Fools and Horses and its spinoff The Green Green Grass. However, he also played other important roles such as Monty Staines on Benidorm in 2015-2018.
He has appeared in many popular series, including Last of the Summer Wine, My Family and The Green Green Grass.
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