George Cole, best known for his role as Arthur Daley on the British television series Minder, has died at age 90.
Cole’s agent, Derek Webster, says that Cole passed away in the hospital after falling ill. The late actor was surrounded with friends and family.
“It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad death of one of our most beloved and respected actors,” Webster said in a statement. “George Cole passed away yesterday at the Royal Berkshire Hospital after a short illness. His wife Penny and his son Toby were with him at his bedside.”
Cole was adopted by comedy star Alastair Sim and his wife Naomi, when the actor was only 10-years-old. He started his acting career as a teenager, appearing in some of his father’s films until he landed his own role as Arthur Daley in 1974. He spent the rest of his days as Daley until the show ended in 1994.
The London native’s career lasted about 70 years. He was seen starring alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatra and he appeared in four of the St. Trinian films.
Fellow Minder actor, Dennis Waterman, had some fond words to share with BBC about his long-time friend.
“I am so sad to hear of George’s death. His family must be devastated, and I am absolutely certain that anybody who ever knew him, will feel the same,” he said. “I’m so grateful to have been a friend of this wonderful man. We worked together for many years and my boast is that we laughed all day everyday.”
The two actors worked opposite each other for more than a decade. Waterman said he had “the privilege of spending Tuesday afternoon with him and Penny and, although very frail, his wit was as evident as ever.”
“He was one of those characters you never thought you are going to be without, both as an actor and a character,” he continued. “He was a great guy to work with and a real genuine gentleman.”