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Subject: 'Allo 'Allo star Sam Kelly dies at 70

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/16/14 at 2:56 am

British actor Sam Kelly, best known for his roles in Allo Allo and Porridge, has died at the age of 70.

The Manchester-born star's agent Lynda Ronan said Kelly died peacefully after a long illness "bravely fought".

She said: "He does not leave any family but a host of friends who were his chosen family."

Former Doctor Who Colin Baker paid tribute on Twitter to his colleague from drama school, describing Kelly as a "lovely, funny, talented chap".

"Cannot believe that lovely Sam Kelly has died," he added. "So sad".

Baker studied alongside Kelly at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in the 1960s.

Kelly's agent described his death as great loss to his friends "and the profession".

Director Mike Leigh, who worked with him nine times, told BBC Radio 5 live that he was the "most loveable guy".

He said that although he was very funny, he was a great character actor and had a marvellous singing voice which was put to good use when he played the Wizard of Oz in the West End musical Wicked.

"He was very versatile indeed but above all, he was just a really great guy," he added.

A tribute also came from Quadrophenia film actor Phil Davis, who said on Twitter: "So sad to hear that Sam Kelly has died, a wonderful actor, a proper gent and one of the funniest men I ever had the pleasure of working with."

Kelly played prisoner Bunny Warren in the BBC's Porridge between 1974 and 1978 and Nazi captain Hans Geering in the first four series of 'Allo 'Allo between 1982 and 1987. His other roles include the ITV sitcom Barbara and On the Up, in which he appeared alongside Dennis Waterman and Joan Sims.

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