Briers had been battling emphysema brought about by smoking and recently described himself as “buggered” in an interview with The Daily Mail.
I’ve got emphysema, you see, so I’m buggered. I haven’t even got the strength to garden any more. Five hundred thousand cigarettes darling – that’s the trouble.
It’s totally my fault. So, I get very breathless, which is a pain in the backside. Trying to get upstairs – oh God, it’s ridiculous. Of course when you’re bloody nearly 80 it’s depressing because you’ve had it anyway.
The ciggies got me. I stopped ten years ago but too late. If you do it in your thirties then you’re okay, but after 30 it gets you. I was diagnosed five years ago and didn’t think it would go quite as badly as it has. It’s a bugger, but there it is. I used to love smoking. – Briers, speaking to The Daily Mail
Briers has a long list of credits to his name but was best known for playing Tom Good in BBC One sitcom The Good Life between 1975 and 1978 in which he starred with Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington. He later took leading roles in comedy Ever Decreasing Circles, sitcom All In Good Faith and drama Monarch of the Glen (pictured left). Other television appearances include Doctor Who, Dixon of Dock Green and Down To Earth.
Despite ill health he had continued to work and recently made appearances in movies Cockneys vs Zombies and Run for your Wife. Among his final Television credits were Midsomer Murders and Torchwood.
Tributes were paid to the star by charity Parkinson’s UK of which Briers was Honorary Vice President.
We are deeply saddened to hear that Richard Briers has died following a long battle with a lung condition.
Put simply, Richard Briers was an incredible man. He had an immense heart and his personality and humour touched all of those he met. He has been a dedicated supporter of Parkinson’s UK for many years, after his second cousin and friend, Terry Thomas, was diagnosed with the condition.
His work as our Honorary Vice President was immeasurable, and his steadfast support has undoubtedly helped to build a lasting legacy for the 127,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. – Steve Ford, Chief Executive at Parkinson’s UK
Richard Briers 1934-2013
Below a clip of children’s cartoon Roobarb which Richard voiced…