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Good Life star was cherished by friends and colleagues

To a generation of TV watchers, he will always be Tom from The Good Life.

But Richard Briers supported his most famous sitcom role with an illustrious career as a classical actor too.

ITV News' Reporter Harry Smith hears memories of the funny and much loved man, who has died at the age of 79, including from his stage-star godson Sam West.

Penelope Keith: Richard Briers was a 'true gentleman'

Penelope Keith has told ITV News her co-star in The Good Life, Richard Briers, was "a true gentleman in all the senses of the word" following his death at the age of 79.

"I heard the news (of his passing), which made me very sad, and then I just smiled because whenever I saw Richard, I smiled," she said.

She also told Mary Nightingale of the "remarkable gift" the actor possessed, by which she will always remember him.

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Fellowes: Briers 'was a marvellous chap and I loved him'

The Downton Abbey creator Lord Fellowes has paid tribute to Richard Briers, who has died aged 79.

The pair starred in the BBC comedy drama Monarch of the Glen.

Lord Fellowes told ITV News:

Richard Briers was a great artist and a great friend.

Only a few can manage this particular double act, and I feel I am extremely privileged to have known and worked with him.

He was a marvellous chap and I loved him.

– Lord Fellowes

Former co-star Prunella Scales remembers 'dear friend'

Prunella Scales has described late sitcom star Richard Briers as a "wonderful colleague and a dear friend" after he passed away aged 79.

Scales, best known for her role as Sybil in Fawlty Towers, played opposite Briers as his wife in Marriage Lines in the early 1960s, for her first big career break.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live she would always be "so grateful to him" for encouraging her to read for the part, at a time when she was newly married to actor Timothy West in real life.

Former BBC chairman Michael Grade added his tribute to Briers, telling the radio station:

I think the nation has lost one of its most favourite, favourite, favourite actors of all time - he's sort of up there with Ronnie Barker and Alan Bennett, you know, the people you're always pleased to see doing anything on television or in the theatre.

Alzheimer's Society pays tribute to Richard Briers

Richard Briers became an Alzheimer's Society ambassador in 2007, after his poignant role in the TV drama Dad where he played the husband of a person with dementia.

Richard Briers was a keen and committed campaigner for Alzheimer's Society. In his role as an ambassador Richard has used his high profile and wit to support other families facing their own battles with the condition.

From lobbying MPs on the injustice of charging for life-enhancing dementia treatments to delivering some of the most entertaining after lunch speeches, Richard always sought to raise the profile of dementia whenever he could.

From all his friends and fans at Alzheimer's Society, our deepest condolences go to his wife Annie and his two daughters, Lucy and Katie.

– Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes

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Facebook users pay tribute to actor Richard Briers

Users of the ITV News' Facebook page have been posting their tributes and memories of the late actor Richard Briers.

Actor Richard Briers has died, aged 79. Credit: Press Association

James Ball said: "We have sadly lost one of our best actors and a really lovely man. RIP Richard and thank you for all the laughs. Sweet dreams."

Wendy Hall-Smith said: "So very sad, RIP Richard. Gone to play on God's stage to entertain his Angels."

Sarah Speed said: "What a lovely man and very talented he was. I remember him especially in Watership Down, as the voice of rabbit Fiver and in The Good Life and Doctor In Distress. RIP xxx"

In pictures: The Good Life actor Richard Briers

actors Robert Lindsay, Lord Attenborough and Richard Briers pictured in 2002. Credit: Andy Butterton/PA Wire/Press Association Images
The Queen meets Richard Briers in 2006. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Richard Briers meets Prince Charles in 2007. Credit: Arthur Edwards/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Kenneth Branagh (Left) wins the Stage Performance Award, presented by Richard Briers, at the Variety Club Showbiz Awards 2008. Credit: Ian West/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Richard Briers at an allotment the land earmarked for the construction of a new runway at Heathrow Airport in 2009. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Stephen Fry leads celebrity Twitter tributes to Briers

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