Actor Keith Barron dies aged 83

15th Nov 17 | Entertainment News

The star, who had a "long and varied career", died after a short illness.

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Former Duty Free star Keith Barron has died aged 83, his agent has said.

The actor and comic – who also starred in Dennis Potter’s The Nigel Barton Plays and 1975 Hollywood film The Land That Time Forgot – died after a short illness.

Barron enjoyed a “long and varied career”, the statement said, adding that the actor is survived by his wife of 58 years and his son, James, also an actor.

Keith Barron (AHA Talent )

The TV stalwart was born in South Yorkshire in 1934 and, after national service in the RAF, joined an amateur dramatics group also attended by Brian Blessed.

He later moved to London, where he performed in the series of Potter plays and later transferred the role to the small screen for Stand Up Nigel Barton, and Vote, Vote, Vote For Nigel Barton in the mid-Sixties.

But it was Duty Free where he garnered his reputation as a much-loved star.

Set in Spain, Duty Free ran for three series from 1984 until 1986 with Barron starring as gruff northerner David Pearce alongside Gwen Taylor as his wife Amy.

Enjoying their first trip to the country, they meet southerners Robert and Linda Cochran (Neil Stacy and Joanna Van Gyseghem).

In 2014, he toured with fellow original cast members Taylor and Stacy in a stage version of Duty Free.

More recently, Barron returned to screens in ITV’s DCI Banks as well as roles in Holby City, Doctors, Benidorm, Heartbeat, and Coronation Street.

Chairman of Elstree Studios Morris Bright paid tribute to the actor.

He said in a statement on Twitter: “Deeply saddened at passing of the great actor Keith Barron.

“He was a good friend of the industry and of @ElstreeStudios. We knew he had been unwell. Last met him at Elstree in 2009.

“A true gentleman.”

© Press Association 2017

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