Last of the Summer Wine cast now – hit music career, fatal fall and Corrie icon
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Last of the Summer Wine is one of the BBC’s greatest-ever sitcoms – and amazingly the world’s longest-running sitcom.
The show was so popular that it ran for an incredible 37 years having made its debut in 1973 on the network.
A staggering 295 episodes later and the curtain finally closed on the iconic TV classic at the end of August 2010.
The comical trials and tribulations of Clegg, Compo and Foggy will never be forgotten, but where are the cast of the show now?
Well, unfortunately, many of the original actors have sadly died, but here at Daily Star we take a look back at the stars of a show which always be fondly remembered.
Peter Sallis OBE – Clegg
You might be surprised to learn that Peter was in fact the iconic voice of Wallace in the Academy Award-winning Wallace and Gromit.
But it was his starring performances in LOTSW which shot the talented actor to household fame.
As mild-mannered character Norman ‘Cleggy’ Clegg, he won many admirers for his comedic performances as the flat-capped philosopher.
Peter starred in the smash series since its inception and was the only actor to appear in all 295 episodes.
He worked in a bank before hitting it big in acting and even worked for the RAF after the outbreak of the Second World War.
But it was on stage and in front of the TV cameras that the actor really felt his happiest.
Peter sadly died, aged 96, in 2017, but he will be remembered for his comedy work, his career in the theatre and for a string of TV and film credits during a distinguished career which spanned over seven decades.
“I feel so grateful and privileged to have known and worked with Peter,” reflected Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, who led the tributes following the star’s death.
“Working with him was always a delight and I will miss his wry, unpredictable humour and silliness.”
Bill Owen MBE – Compo
Bill played the iconic character Compo Simmonite in the legendary sitcom for a staggering 27 years, instantly recognisable for his green beanie and his diminutive frame.
The London-born actor was central to the Yorkshire-based BBC series until he died, aged 85, in July 1999 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Starring as the show’s scruffy, working-class pensioner, Compo was a huge hit with TV viewers and was given a fitting send off when he was written out of the comedy sketches a year later.
What few people will probably not know about Bill, is that he had a successful second career as a songwriter during the 1960s.
One of his songs, Marianne, was recorded by Cliff Richard and he also collaborated with fellow songwriter Tony Russell on the hit musical Matchgirls before he found fame on the TV screen.
Bill also had an acclaimed career in film, appearing in nearly 50 films including comedy roles in the legendary Carry On franchise.
Brian Wilde – Foggy
The Lancashire-born actor played the iconic character Walter ‘Foggy’ Dewhurst in the hit show and will also be well-known for his role as prison officer Mr Barrowclough in comedy stonker Porridge.
Brian replaced actor Michael Bates as the third member of the legendary trio in 1976 – and he instantly became a huge hit with fans of the show.
The comedy dynamic of Clegg, Compo and Foggy was what made the show such a huge success and guaranteed it longevity for such an incredible run.
Brian sadly died, aged 80, in March 2008 after suffering a fatal fall at his Hertfordshire home.
His son, Andrew, had been the film editor of the series from the mid-1990s until the final episode two decades later.
An accomplished actor, Brian appearing in an array of films from 1953 up until 1979.
He started his TV career in 1963 and his last credits were for the character Major John Wyatt in 1998, bringing to end a distinguished career on the silver screen which spanned a staggering 35 years.
Kathy Staff – Nora Batty
Kathy played another iconic character in the show, the unforgettable Nora Batty.
The actress starred in 245 episodes of the show and became a national icon after her incredible run in the show.
Instantly recognisable for her wrinkled stockings, pinny and distinctive style of hair with curlers in, Kathy made Nora a well-loved character.
One of the perpetual annoyances in Nora’s life was character Compo. Her neighbour was very fond of Nora, but she was always having to spurn his advances.
Often Nora would chase Compo with a broomstick, especially when he made cheeky comments about her stockings.
Kathy had a respected TV career and starred in many other shows including Crossroads, Coronation Street, Open All Hours and The Benny Hill Show.
She also starred in theatre productions and landed roles in films such as A King of Loving, The Family Way and Little Dorrit, to name a few.
She died in December 2008 at the age of 80.
Jean Alexander – Auntie
The actress will be best-known to TV fans as the iconic character Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street.
She played the character from 1964 to 1987 before going on to play Auntie Wainwright in LOTSW.
Jean won a 1985 Royal Television Society Award for Best Performance for her role in Corrie and also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress three years later.
The Liverpool-born actress left Corrie in 1987, but fans were so upset they started a ‘Save Hilda’ campaign to keep her on the hit northern soap.
Jean starred in a string of films including Scandal, Willie’s War and Hooves of Fire, as well as in the popular children’s series The Phoenix and the Carpet.
She starred in TV from 1961 to 2006, before retiring in 2012 after a career which spanned six decades.
In October 2016 she celebrated her 90th birthday, but sadly died three days later.
Robert Fyfe – Howard
Scottish actor Robert remains one of the surviving members of the hit cast.
Now aged 95, he played the dithering character Howard Sibshaw.
He starred in the comedy series for 25 years and had a distinguished film career which started in 1962 and concluded in 2016, over 50 years later.
He landed roles in Corrie, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Dr Finlay’s Casebook, Monarch of the Glen and Misfits.
But it was for his comical character Howard which he will be best-known, as he played his own pivotal role in make the show a big success.
A shy, henpecked husband of Pearl, Howard had a glam lover Marina.
Their exchanges became legendary on the show.
“Oh Howard,” Marina would say, while, Howard would respond “Marina!” as the pair played on their comedic sexual chemistry.
Some of Robert’s funniest scenes would be when he donned countless disguises to try and avoid the clutches of his troublesome wife.
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