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Actor Tony Haygarth dies aged 72

The actor and writer's career spanned film, TV and theatre

The actor Tony Haygarth
© Dan Wooller

The actor Tony Haygarth has died at the age of 72.

His passing was announced by his ex-wife Carole Winter on Twitter this morning and details of his death are yet to be released. The actor had been battling with Alzheimer's since being diagnosed in 2014.

The Liverpudlian actor Haygarth began his professional career in theatres such as the National Theatre and at the RSC. His first film was Percy in 1971 and in 1979 he starred in Dracula opposite Laurence Olivier and Donald Pleasence. Other film work includes roles in I, Claudius and in Chicken Run.

In 2009 he starred as Alfred Doolittle in the Old Vic's production of Pygmalion. In 1996 he won the Clarence Derwent Award for his part as Simms the bookmaker in Sam Shepard's play Simpatico.

Haygarth was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1996 for his roles in Twelve Angry Men and The Tempest. He joined the cast of Emmerdale in 2008 as Mick Naylor and played Mr Boo in the 2009 production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Vaudeville in London.

In 2015 he spoke to the Daily Express about living with Alzheimer's. He told the paper "I felt a mixture of relief and trepidation when I got the [Alzheimer's] diagnosis,...It meant that I got access to a lot of services and support which has been fantastic but feared that my life was going to change significantly, and that my work would be severely affected."

Haygarth was also an author of plays and poetry and his first play was called The Lie and was about the death of Christopher Marlowe.

People took to Twitter today to pay their respects to the actor.