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.
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