DAD’S Army legend Frank Williams has died at the age of 90.
The actor played Reverend Timothy Farthing in the sitcom about the UK’s Home Guard during the Second World War.
The BBC programme originally broadcasted from 1968 para 1977 and ran for nine series and 80 episodes in total.
In total Frank appeared in 39 of the TV episodes, the original film, the stage show and 14 radio episodes.
He starred alongside Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn, John Laurie, James Beck, John Le Mesurier and Arnold Ridley.
Now Ian Lavender, 76, who played Private Pike in Dad’s Army, is sadly the only remaining member of the main cast.
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In addition to the WW2 sitcom, Frank was also the Bishop in four series of You Rang, M’Lord? among many other acting credits.
He likewise landed himself a role in Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Rutles.
A statement shared on Facebook said: “So sorry to say that our beloved friend, colleague and actor, Frank Williams, passed away this morning.
“He was almost 91, and we are grateful for all the years of joy, laughter and happiness he brought to so many. Thank you Frank!”
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Fellow actors and friends have taken to social media to pay tribute to the star.
Morris Bright, Chairman of Elstree Studios wrote: “‘Someone’s written something very rude on the back of my spare harmonium Captain Mainwaring … what’s more it’s in wax crayon and won’t come off!’
“RIP Dad’s Army’s Reverend Timothy Farthing aka actor Frank Williams who has died aged 90. Thanks for all the joy and laughter.”
Actor Jeffrey Holland, who played Spike in 80s BBC comedy Hi De Hi, disse: “So sorry to hear Frank Williams has left us. A dear friend.
“I’ll never forget the happy days spent working together on stage and screen in DadsArmy or the wonderful times shared with him and Ronnie at reunions and events. Treasured memories.”
The TV icon was born in London in 1931, before he was educated at Ardingly College, West Sussex, and Hendon School.
After school he started acting in repertory theatre and got to know the creator of Dad’s Army, Jimmy Perry, through his work at the Watford Palace Theatre.
Frank and Dad’s Army
Frank was cast in the WW2 sitcom in 1969 – but he’d never even watched the series before.
His debut coincided with the show’s first episode in colour – “The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones” – at the start of episode three.
The TV legend initially thought he was going to have a one-off appearance, but his character soon became a household favourite appearing in half of the episodes.
“It was the happiest period of my professional life,” Frank told the Expressar ano passado.
“I hadn’t seen any of the previous two series, so knew little of what Dad’s Army was about," ele disse, “But that first episode was my introduction to a remarkable cast of actors.
“Edward Sinclair was the kindest of men and we became great friends – so did Bill Pertwee.
“Ao longo dos anos, the three of us became a kind of unholy alliance on and off screen.”
The popularity of Dad’s Army lasted long after Frank’s last appearance on screen and he was proud of being part of the show.
He told the Express: “All the characters are funny and appeal to people of all ages, including children.
“Once, a friend told me that his three-year-old granddaughter liked Dad’s Army more than Postman Pat.
“It’s good, limpar, family entertainment.”
Right up until his death, Frank received letters from fans across the country – some even had a special request.
Couples getting married would repeatedly ask the on-screen vicar to perform their ceremony as though it was his genuine job.
“Cuidado com você, I suppose the role did typecast me because I subsequently played clergy in Hi-de-Hi!, You Rang, M’Lord? and Vanity Fair,” he said last year.
He was grateful to appear in the Dad’s Army film, although some long-term fans were uneasy about actors replacing the original cast.
Eu obviamente pensei sobre isso, mas eu tinha um trabalho a fazer.”
Asked if there would be another film one day, Frank said last year: Eles poderiam voltar mais fortes do que nunca e serem amados novamente ou poderia ser o último, the world of acting is an unpredictable business where opportunities come and go.
“Whatever happens, I’ll always be grateful to Jimmy Perry and David Croft for offering me the chance. It’s given me so much joy in my career.”