British actor Richard Briers, who suffered from emphysema for many years, has died at the age of 79.
He gained early fame in a 70s British sitcom, The Good Life, and worked regularly thereafter. He had many sf/fantasy credits. In the movie Watership Down (1978) he voiced the role of Fiver, and in a later Watership Down tv series (1999-2001) played Captain Broom.
In 1987 he appeared in a four-part episode of Doctor Who, “ParadiseTowers.”
He was also Smee in Peter Pan (2003) – he appears in the trailer at 1:12 mark.
Briers was a close friend of Kenneth Branagh, who cast him in six of his films, notably Henry V (as Bardolph), Hamlet (as Polonius), Much Ado About Nothing (as Leonato) and in the non-Shakespearean Frankenstein (as Grandfather).
[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]