Richard Briers, ‘The Good Life’ Star, Dies At 79

Richard Briers, best known for his role as Tom Good in the BBC sitcom, The Good Life, has died at age 79.

Briers, who suffered from emphysema for several years, died “peacefully” in his London home Sunday, his agent said. Just weeks before his death, Briers discussed his failing health and blamed years of smoking for his condition.

“I was diagnosed five years ago and didn’t think it would go quite as badly as it has,” Briers said. “I used to love smoking. It’s totally my fault. So, I get very breathless, which is a pain in the backside. Trying to get upstairs… oh God, it’s ridiculous. Of course, when you’re bloody nearly 80 it’s depressing, because you’ve had it anyway.”

Briers also starred in Ever Decreasing Circles, Doctor Who, and Monarch of the Glen. He provided the voice of Fiver in the animated film, Watership Down and made a cameo in the Spice Girls film, Spice World.

Richard Briers was born in London January 14, 1934. According to The Mirror, Briers did stage training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and won a silver medal and scholarship to Liverpool Playhouse in 1956. He alternated between film, TV, and the stage for almost four decades. Briers was inspired to become an actor by his mother and a music and drama teacher, according to BBC News.

Briers representative Christopher Farrar said in a statement:

“Richard was a wonderful man, a consummate professional and an absolute joy to work alongside.

Following his recent discussion of his battle with emphysema, I know he was incredibly touched by the strength of support expressed by friends and the public.

He has a unique and special place in the hearts of so many. He will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his family at this sad time. “

[Photo credit: tellyspotting/]

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