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Sunday 4 December 2016

Stars honour Minder star George Cole after his death at 90

FILE - Actor George Cole Dies Aged 90 George Cole pictured as Arthur Daley with Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, in a scene from the ITV drama Minder, 26th May 1988. (Photo by A. Cook/Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
FILE - Actor George Cole Dies Aged 90 George Cole pictured as Arthur Daley with Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, in a scene from the ITV drama Minder, 26th May 1988. (Photo by A. Cook/Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
FILE - Actor George Cole Dies Aged 90 George Cole pictured as Arthur Daley with Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, in a scene from the ITV drama Minder, 26th May 1988. (Photo by A. Cook/Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
Actor George Cole
FILE - Actor George Cole Dies Aged 90 circa 1935: British actor George Cole. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Actor George Cole, best known for playing Arthur Daley in TV's Minder, has died aged 90.

Cole played the Cockney wheeler dealer Daley for 16 years, between 1979 and 1994.

He also starred in a number of St Trinian's films as shady businessman Flash Harry.

Agent Derek Webster said Cole had died at the Royal Berkshire hospital following a short illness, surrounded by his wife Penny and family.

Actor Dennis Waterman said his Minder co-star George Cole was a "wonderful man" with whom he "laughed all day every day".

Waterman (67) said: "I am so sad to hear of George's death. His family must be devastated, and I am absolutely certain that anybody who ever knew him, will feel the same.

"I'm so grateful to have been a friend of this wonderful man. We worked together for many years and my boast is that we laughed all day every day.

READ MORE: Minder star George Cole dies aged 90

"He was an amazing man, a wonderful actor and besotted with his family. I had the privilege of spending Tuesday afternoon with him and Penny and although very frail his wit was as evident as ever. Farewell old friend."

Fellow stars of stage and screen paid tribute to the actor, describing him as "immaculate" and "unforgettable".

Former 007 actor Roger Moore said: "How sad to hear George Cole has gone to that great cutting room in the sky. A lovely actor. A gentleman".

Imaculate

Little Britain comic Matt Lucas said he lived in Cole's old home, writing on Twitter: "When I found out that George Cole used to live in our flat, I dug out my old Minder poster."

He added: "I was such a fan of Minder that me and my friend Nick infiltrated the set in 1991 and got ourselves on screen!"

The League Of Gentlemen and Doctor Who star Mark Gatiss said: "A fond farewell to the marvellous George Cole. Immaculate as the young Scrooge, joyous as Flash Harry, unforgettable as Arthur Daley. RIP."

Cole began acting in the early 1940s, appearing with Lawrence Olivier in The Demi-Paradise, and taking a small role in Olivier's star-studded Henry V.

He joined the war effort in 1944, joining the Royal Air Force, before resuming his acting career when the conflict ended.

He found himself consistently in work, on stage, television film and radio.

As well as the St Trinian's films, he also starred opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatra, and gothic horror The Vampire Lovers.

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