Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 13:54 UK

Actor Terence Rigby dies aged 71

Terence Rigby
Rigby recently appeared in Midsomer Murders, Holby City and Heartbeat

Actor Terence Rigby, who appeared in a string of television dramas and films, has died at his London home, his spokesman has confirmed.

The 71-year-old, who had been suffering from lung cancer, was best known for his role as PC Snow in the 1960s TV series Softly, Softly: Task Force.

His film credits included Get Carter and Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies.

Catherine Sparks, Rigby's sister, said: "We are so proud of Terry and are going to miss him terribly."

"He was true to his art and respected by all the industry - he was the actor's actor," she added.

Pinter friendship

Rigby's interest in acting began while in the Boy Scouts and then at grammar school in Birmingham and later in the Royal Air Force.

He went on to gain a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts where he trained alongside the late John Thaw.

The actor took an early interest in the playwright Harold Pinter.

In 1965 he starred as Joey in The Homecoming, and as thuggish manservant, Briggs, in No Man's Land a decade later.

Terence Rigby and Tom Baker in The Hound of The Baskervilles
Rigby (l) starred as Dr Watson opposite Tom Baker

He also took on the role of Davies in The Caretaker.

Rigby became close friends with Pinter, and in an interview with The Guardian newspaper in 2003, he said: "I used to go round to his house in Hanover Terrace. I had that irritating habit of just turning up, which I suppose is a working class thing."

Rigby collaborated on several occasions with theatre director Sir Peter Hall, most recently in 2005 on Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

He also played Dr Watson in the BBC's 1982 adaptation of the Hound of the Baskervilles, opposite Tom Baker as Sherlock Holmes.

The actor's spokesman Peter Charlesworth said: "He will be sorely missed. There are not so many like him any more.

"He was a very powerful character actor, able to play villains and nice roles with ease. He was particularly good at playing Pinter roles, which were very difficult."

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