Belfast Telegraph

Tributes for 'wonderful' Sam Kelly

Tributes have been paid to the "wonderful" and "funny" actor Sam Kelly, star of 'Allo 'Allo! and Porridge, who died aged 70 after a long illness.

His agent Lynda Ronan said he died "peacefully" and left a "host of friends who were his chosen family".

Kelly acted in On The Up and Barbara, and recently played The Wizard in West End musical Wicked.

Ms Ronan said today: "Sam Kelly died peacefully this morning after a long illness bravely fought. He does not leave any family but a host of friends who were his chosen family. His death is a great loss to them and the profession."

Among the stars paying tribute on Twitter, Stephen Fry tweeted: "Very saddened to hear about Sam Kelly's death. He played a splendid Hitler in a comedy drama called Stalagluft I made with Nick Lyndhurst..."

Former Doctor Who Colin Baker who was at drama school with Kelly described him as a "lovely, funny, talented chap".

Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss tweeted: "Desperately sad news that the wonderful Sam Kelly has left us. Such a funny, talented man and one of the good guys. RIP Bunny Warren."

Mr Selfridge star Amanda Abbington said: "He was a gent and a darling. And he will be missed."

Citizen Smith and My Family star Robert Lindsay tweeted that he would dedicate tonight's West End showing of his stage show Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to Kelly.

He tweeted: "Feel so depressed about the amazing Sam Kelly's passing how do we manage a second comic musical tonight? we dedicate it to him RIP"

Emmerdale star Natalie Anderson tweeted: "Totally devastated to hear of the sad news of my friend and 'Wizard' Sam Kelly's passing!!! A truly wonderful and incredible gentleman!"

Comedy actress Rebecca Front, who starred in The Thick Of It, tweeted that Kelly was a "lovely actor".

Stage and screen actress Susan Penhaligon added: "Words cannot describe how sad I feel today, the glorious, funny, talented Sam Kelly has gone. He was a friend."

Magician Paul Daniels wrote: "RIP Sam Kelly. You were a funny guy."

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