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Actor Anton Rodgers dies aged 74
Anton Rodgers and Lesley Dunlop in May To December, 1990
Anton Rodgers with May To December co-star Lesley Dunlop
Actor Anton Rodgers, best known for his roles in TV sitcoms May to December and Fresh Fields, has died aged 74.

Rodgers, whose career spanned 50 years, played Alec Callender in May to December, a BBC series about an older lawyer and his younger girlfriend.

He starred opposite Cranford star Julia McKenzie in ITV's Fresh Fields and its spin-off, French Fields, in the 1980s.

Rodgers had a long and distinguished theatrical career, which began in 1947 in Carmen at the Royal Opera House.

He also appeared in the opening night of the West End production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2002.

Surburban man

One of the actor's more recent small-screen appearances was playing William Whitelaw in the Channel 4 dramatisation of Longford, which won three TV Baftas.

In Fresh Fields, which ran from 1984 to 1986, Rodgers played a hard-working surburban man troubled by his wife Hester's constant schemes to get ahead, despite their devotion.

The pair relocated to France in 1989 and were faced with adjusting to the culture of their adopted country.

In May to December, which was nominated for best comedy series at the Baftas in 1991, Rodgers originally played opposite actress Eve Matheson.

But she was succeeded by Lesley Dunlop as Zoe Angell, who was half Alec Callender's age.

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