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article imageUK Comedy legend Ronnie Corbett dead at 85

By Adrian Peel     Mar 31, 2016 in Entertainment
The showbiz fraternity is in mourning today following the passing of one of the English speaking world's best-loved entertainers, a mainstay of British television and theatre for over 60 years.
Comedy icon Ronnie Corbett CBE, best known as one of half of The Two Ronnies — one of the most successful double acts ever with long-time collaborator Ronnie Barker — died on Thursday morning at the age of 85 surrounded by his family.
The much-loved actor, whose short stature, self-deprecating joviality, deadpan delivery and square-rimmed glasses made him familiar to millions, had apparently been unwell for some time, having been hospitalised in 2014 with gall bladder problems and collapsing at a dinner held in his honour in 2012 — though the actual cause of his death has not yet been revealed.
He leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Anne Hart, and their two daughters, Emma and Sophie, who both followed their father into acting.
Born Ronald Balfour Corbett on December 4, 1930 in Edinburgh, Corbett got his first taste of performing in front of a significant number of people on stage when he co-starred in Take it Easy in Cromer, Norfolk in 1956 alongside the late Graham Stark.
He first worked with Ronnie Barker when the pair appeared together in The Frost Report, a satirical TV series presented by David Frost that ran from 1966 to 67 — and where the now famous "Class Sketch" was shown for the very first time.
The duo's own series, The Two Ronnies, lasted from 1971 to 1987 and was a huge success, fondly remembered for its timeless sketches and creative musical numbers such as "Fork Handles," "Mastermind" and "The Plumstead Ladies Male Voice Choir." At its peak, the show received over 15 million viewers. Also in the 1980s, Corbett starred as Timothy Lumsden in light-hearted BBC sitcom, Sorry!.
Following Barker's retirement in 1987 (the two memorably reunited for The Two Ronnies Sketchbook shortly before the older Ronnie's death in 2005), Corbett, a keen golfer, continued to work, playing exaggerated versions of himself in Extras, Little Britain Abroad and The One Ronnie. His immense talent will certainly be missed.
R.I.P. Ronnie Corbett, December 4, 1930 - March 31, 2016.
More about Ronnie corbett, the two ronnies, Ronnie barker, the frost report, Sir David Frost
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