Sitcom Star Geoffrey Palmer Has Died Aged 93

As an actor, he appeared in a notable number of well-known sitcoms, including Butterflies, As Time Goes By and The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin.

His long CV also includes TV shows including Whoops Apocalypse, The Last Song and Hot Metal. On the radio, he starred in comedies such as North By Northamptonshire, The Maltby Collection and At Home With The Snails. Meanwhile his film credits include playing the headmaster in Clockwise and, more recently, appearing in Paddington.

He died peacefully at home, his agent said.

One of his first major acting roles was in 1976, in the The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin, playing Jimmy Anderson.

Butterflies. Image shows from L to R: Russell Parkinson (Andrew Hall), Ben Parkinson (Geoffrey Palmer), Ria Parkinson (Wendy Craig), Adam Parkinson (Nicholas Lyndhurst).

He followed that role with Butterflies, which started in 1978 and ran for four series. In the sitcom he played Ben Parkinson, the husband of bored housewife Ria, played by Wendy Craig.

As Time Goes By. Image shows from L to R: Lionel (Geoffrey Palmer), Jean (Judi Dench). Copyright: DLT Entertainment Ltd..

The hugely popular As Time Goes By launched in 1992. Co-starring alongside Judi Dench as Lionel, he starred in over 60 episodes of the sitcom focused on a couple who rekindle their romance after losing touch with each other when younger. It ran for nine series on BBC One, finishing in 2005.

The son of a chartered accountant, Geoffrey Palmer was born in north London in 1927, and was educated at the private Highgate School.

After leaving school he did two years’ National Service in the Royal Marines, where he quickly became an instructor for new recruits.

He first qualified as an accountant, but a girlfriend encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming an actor, starting his showbusiness career with a stint as assistant stage manager at Croydon’s Grant Theatre.

Despite never having any formal acting training, he was soon spotted and appeared in guest roles in sitcoms including The Army Game, Pardon The Expression, George And The Dragon and The Liver Birds.

He married his wife Sally in 1963, with whom he had two children, Harriet and Charles. He was made an OBE in 2004 for services to drama.

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