Heartbeat actor Bill Maynard has died in hospital at the age of 89, after breaking his hip in a fall from his mobility scooter.
Maynard, real name Walter Williams, was best known for playing Claude Jeremiah Greengrass for eight years in the long-running TV series, which was watched by up to 18 million at its peak.
He also starred in five Carry On films and 1980s TV shows The Gaffer, Worzel Gummidge and Minder.
Maynard initially retired from acting in 2000 after suffering a number of strokes, but returned to his role in Heartbeat spin-off The Royal in 2003.
He chose his stage name as a reference to the makers of wine gum sweets.
His daughter-in-law, actress Jacqueline Reddin, said: “He was larger than life and he just loved showbiz.
“He was so proud of the fact that he had been working for 81 years.”
Maynard, who was born in Surrey but lived most of his life in Leicestershire, leaves a son and daughter, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
His first wife, Muriel Linnett, died from cancer to leave Maynard widowed.
He went on to marry Tonia Bern, the widow of Donald Campbell, who died attempting a land speed record.
Maynard first appeared on TV in 1953 in the BBC’s Face The Music, while his varied career saw him placed fourth in the UK heat of the 1957 Eurovision Song Contest.
In 1984, Maynard stood for election to Parliament as an independent Labour candidate in the Chesterfield by-election.
He was beaten by former Labour cabinet minister Tony Benn, whose candidacy Maynard stood to oppose.
In 2015, having released an album of songs, Maynard told the Daily Express: “I’ve done everything in this business from acting and singing to tap dancing, opera and one-man shows.
“People can’t understand why I still want to work at my age and I tell them it’s not work. I love it.”
Ms Reddin told the Press Association her father-in-law had recently visited her and her husband in France, while he had been looking forward to the airing of an episode of BBC game show Pointless he filmed.