As “Fawlty Tower” fans mourned the death of Andrew Sachs, who played well-meaning but disorganized Spanish waiter Manuel on the cult BBC series, John Cleese paid an emotional tribute to his former co-star.
“Just heard about Andy Sachs. Very sad … I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall, but I had no idea that his life was in danger,” the Monty Python co-founder wrote on Twitter Thursday after news of Sachs’ death at age 86 on Nov. 23 was made public.
“A very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur. I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973. I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired,” he said.
Cleese added that he “wrote the foreword to his book a couple of years ago, which apparently ‘moved him to tears,'” before closing out by saying that he was “going on stage now.”
The “A Fish Called Wanda” star is currently on tour with Monty Python sidekick and Cambridge University classmate, Eric Idle.
According to Andrew Sachs’ wife, Melody, the actor had suffered from macular dementia, with which he was diagnosed in 2012.
“We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment,” the Daily Mail reported Melody Sachs as saying. “He had dementia for four years and we didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going.”
Despite he illness, his widow said, “I never once heard him grumble.”
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“Fawlty Towers,” which starred Cleese as inept hotel owner Basil Fawlty, ran for two seasons from 1975 to 1979, but went on to become a comedy classic both in the U.K. and America.
Born in Germany, Sachs moved to England with his family in 1938. Initially working in radio and on stage, Sachs made his screen debut in 1959’s “The Night We Dropped a Clanger.”
In addition to “Fawlty Towers,” Sachs’ television credits included “The Saint” and “Randall and Hopkirk.”
See Cleese’s tweets below.
Just heard about Andy Sachs. Very sad….
I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago…
…and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall,but I had no idea that his life was in danger. A very sweet gentle…
…and kind man and a truly great farceur.I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973.I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired
If media folk need more, I wrote the foreword to his book a couple of years ago,which apparently 'moved him to tears'
Going onstage now…
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