Over the past few years, Patrick, an inspiration to generations of astronomers, fought his way back from many serious spells of illness and continued to work and write at a great rate, but this time his body was too weak to overcome the infection which set in, a few weeks ago.
He was able to perform on his world record-holding TV Programme The Sky at Night right up until the most recent episode.
His executors and close friends plan to fulfil his wishes for a quiet ceremony of interment, but a farewell event is planned for what would have been Patrick's 90th birthday in March 2013.
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The actor shared a video on Twitter in which he said he has undergone surgery for prostate cancer and "it all seemed to go pretty well".