Gary Waldhorn: Heartbroken Dawn French pays tribute as Vicar of Dibley star dies

Dawn French and Gary Waldhorn on set during the filming of the Ballykissdibley sketch to be shown on Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day telethon held on March 14, 1997.
(Image credit: Comic Relief via Getty Images)

Dawn French has led tributes to her Vicar of Dibley co-star Gary Waldhorn, who is best remembered for his role as Councillor David Horton on the sitcom.

The actress posted a picture of her late co-star along with a broken heart emoji, clearly at a loss for words. Gary's family had announced on Tuesday that he had died "peacefully" at the age of 78.

The TV personality was most recognised for his role as councillor David Horton in the BBC sitcom that started in 1994, famously clashing with Dawn's character, Geraldine Granger.

He most recently starred in a Christmas special, The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown, alongside Dawn and James Fleet, who played his on-screen son Hugo.

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A photo posted by on

In a heartfelt statement released by Gary's family, his son Josh penned,"Classically trained, it was the theatre where he truly flourished and he leaves a legacy of entertainment that saw him frequent the boards of Broadway, the West End and our living rooms on the telly!

"He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley, and his son, Josh. We will all miss him terribly."

Dawn's celebrity friends took to the comment section to pay their respects.

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 5: Actor Gary Waldhorn poses with the award for 'Best Comedy Show' for "The Vicar of Dibley" at the TV Quick and TV Choice Awards at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane on September 5, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

Credit: Getty

Queer Eye star Tan France, who recently welcomed his first child (opens in new tab) with husband Rob, wrote in response to Dawn's comment, "Oh no! I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sending so much love your way ❤️"

And actor Russell T Davies added, "So sorry for your loss. What a class act xxx"

Fans were also quick to voice their support and share fond memories of David's Vicar of Dibley moments, with one user writing, "So sad... will always remember you, David and the Brussel sprout competition 💔."

Gary was married to Christie Dickason, a former theatre director who later became a playwright and novelist, sharing one son, Joshua, with his wife.

Dawn has had past experiences with grief, having previously revealed that she had gone on her own path seeking the  'quiet life'  (opens in new tab) following her father's tragic suicide when she was 19.