‘Only Fools and Horses’ star John Challis has died of cancer at the age of 79, his family has said.
He was best known for his portrayal of the unscrupulous second-hand car dealer Boyce in the beloved sitcom alongside Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lindhurst.
He canceled a 30-date tour earlier this month after only one appearance due to poor health.
A statement from his family to PA news agency said: “It is with a heavy heart that we bring you such sad news. Our dear friend and you, John Challis, have died peacefully in their sleep, after a long battle with cancer.
“He will always be loved for being the ‘boysie’ and has left a great legacy of work that will continue to bring joy and smiles for many years to come.
“Please respect the privacy of John’s family and friends during this difficult time, and rest assured that there will be an opportunity to celebrate John’s life in the future – when everyone is welcome to come along.”
Boyce, a cigar-smoking businessman with a witty laugh, was married to feudal Marlene—played by Sue Holderness—and regularly beheaded Sir David’s Del Boy.
Holderness said in a statement: “Marlene—without Boycey—it’s unimaginable. John Challis has been my partner and my dearest friend on screen and on stage for 36 years. RIP dear John. I’ll miss you every day.”
Challis was born in Bristol but moved to south-east London when he was one year old.
He attended State Boarding Ottershaw School near Woking, Surrey, and worked as a trainee estate agent before becoming a professional actor.
Early roles included a recurring role on the gangster drama “Big Breadwinner Hog” in 1969 and “Z-Cars” between 1971 and 1975 as Sergeant Culshaw.
Challis played Terrence Aubrey Boyce in “Only Fools and Horses” from 1981 to 2003, as well as in the Boyce-focused spin-off show “The Green Green Grass”.
He recently became an honorary citizen of Serbia, where the BBC sitcom is extremely popular.
Chalis made the documentary “Boycy in Belgrade”, which explored why the show was so beloved in the Balkan country.
He was also known for playing Monty Staines in the ITV sitcom “Benedorm”.
Challis performed on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, and regularly appeared in pantomime productions.
His family has requested that instead of flowers, donations be made to their favorite animal charities—Kuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk, and The British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
His statement read, “As Boyce would have said… you know it makes sense!”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times