Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies after secret four-year battle with dementia

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  • Legendary British actor Andrew Sachs has died aged 86 following a four-year battle with dementia.

    Well-loved actor Andrew sadly passed away at the care home he has spent the last year battling dementia.

    Andrew was most well known for his comedic performance of Spanish waiter Manuel in the hit 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers.

    The star was cared for by his wife Melody in the couple’s five-bedroom home in North-West London until earlier this year when he moved to Denville Hall, a private care home in Northwood, West London, for retired actors.

    Andrew’s wife Melody told The Daily Mail of her happy memories shared with him at the home, ‘I couldn’t think of anywhere nicer than Denville Hall. The staff are wonderful.

    ‘He was in there for eight months and it was summertime. We sat in the garden together. It was wonderful. I used to read to him, tell him stories. We had a happy time.’

    The couple were married for 57 years and Melody has revealed what a joy he was to be around, ‘Don’t feel sorry for me because I had the best life with him. I had the best husband and we really loved each other.

    ‘One thing about Andrew is that I never once heard him grumble, I never found him once without a smile on his face. We laughed because we’re both silly.

    ‘We’re both as daft as brushes, we were married for 57 years, we loved each other very deeply and it was a pleasure looking after him. I miss him terribly.’

    The actor was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012, which is the second most common form of the disease after Alzheimer’s. His wife insists that Andrew managed to keep working even for two years after his diagnosis and it wasn’t until the very end when things became much worse, leaving him wheel chair bound and unable to speak.

    Melody, 85, said, ‘It wasn’t all doom and gloom, he still worked for two years. We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment. He had dementia for four years and we didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going.’

    ‘It didn’t get really bad until quite near the end. I nursed Andrew, I was there for every moment of it.’

    Fellow Faulty Towers star John Cleese has taken to Twitter to pay his respects to Andrew in a series of tweets. He said:

    ‘Just heard about Andy Sachs. Very sad…. I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall,but I had no idea that his life was in danger.

    ‘A very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur.I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973.I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired’

    Andrew died on the 23rd November and was buried the following Thursday, 1st December.

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