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John Challis has died aged 79

The Only Fools and Horses star had a long battle with cancer

John Challis
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Iconic actor John Challis has died aged 79, it has been revealed.

Bristol-born Challis, best known for playing Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, has also starred in TV series such as Benidorm, The Green Green Grass and Last of the Summer Wine.

The multi-faceted performer was no stranger to the theatre. On stage, he has appeared in a plethora of roles, working with the RSC alongside the likes of Ian Holm in the 1960s and at the National Theatre. During his time on stage, he performed in Stoppard's Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth, On the Razzle and The Rivals, as well as touring productions of Entertaining Mr Sloane and London Suite. His solo stage show, Only Fools and Boycie, toured across 2014, with a return outing cancelled earlier this year due Challis' health.

He has also starred in a variety of pantomimes in locations such as Stockport, Nottingham and Weston-Super-Mare.

After a long battle with cancer, Challis' family revealed today that the actor had passed away in his sleep. They reflected on his "great legacy of work that will continue to bring pleasure and smiles for many years to come".

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