BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Sitcom star Olsen dies
Gary Olsen
Gary Olsen (right) with the cast of 2 Point 4 Children
Comedy actor Gary Olsen, who starred as the father in the hit sitcom 2 Point 4 Children, has died aged 42.

Olsen died in Australia on Tuesday after a long battle against cancer.

BBC One controller Peter Salmon paid tribute to Olsen, whose career took in TV, films and theatre.

"Gary was a lively, lovely man and an actor who brought pleasure to millions of viewers with his central role in 2 Point 4 Children," he said.


His ability to bring warmth and humour to everything he did means his loss at such an early age is even more tragic

Peter Salmon
"His ability to bring warmth and humour to everything he did means his loss at such an early age is even more tragic."

Olsen's played Ben Porter in 2 Point 4 Children, a layabout self-employed plumber alongside his angst-ridden wife Bill, played by Belinda Lang, and their two teenage children.

The programme began in 1991 and was into its ninth series.

Film credits

Olsen recently starred as a bleach blond crime boss in the British gangster movie 24 Hours In London - his first major film role.

Gary Olsen
Gary Olsen in 24 Hours In London
But before that, he had taken a number of minor movie parts including roles in in Peter Greenaway's film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, with Helen Mirren.

Starting out as a bit part actor in the late 1970s, Olsen's earliest credits included "Guy In Bar" in Hazel O'Connor's Breaking Glass in 1980 and "Worker No 1" in Outland with Sean Connery.

Later he appeared in the Rocky Horror Show, Pink Floyd's The Wall.

On the BBC, Olsen also appeared in Paul Calf's Video Diaries with comedian Steve Coogan.

BBC head of comedy Geoffrey Perkins said: "It is desperately sad. Gary was one of Britain's great comedy actors. He was a real star in 2 Point 4 Children."

A BBC spokesman added colleagues were stunned by Olsen's death.

"He was a wonderful comedy actor and our thoughts are with his family," he said.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories