Vicar of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn dies aged 78

Gary Waldhorn died in the early morning of January 10. Credit: PA

Gary Waldhorn, who played Councillor David Horton in TV sitcom Vicar of Dibley, has died at the age of 78.

The actor played the bullish councillor in every episode of the much-loved sitcom from 1994 to 2007, famously locking horns with the vicar played by Dawn French.

He most recently appeared in a Christmas special, The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown, alongside French, who plays Geraldine Granger, and James Fleet, who plays his on-screen son Hugo.

Waldhorn’s son Josh said he “peacefully passed away” at 6.45am on Monday.

In a statement, he said: “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.”

Listen to our entertainment podcast, Unscripted:

Waldhorn appeared in classic British TV shows such as The Sweeney, Brush Strokes and Hotel Babylon, and even featured in comedy sketch show French And Saunders.

He also provided voiceovers for adverts including for Green Flag, Kwik Fit, Branston and Marmite.

Waldhorn was an accomplished Shakespearean actor and had performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company including in Much Ado About Nothing.

BBC Comedy said: “Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nation’s most treasured BBC shows, and of course as councillor David Horton in The Vicar Of Dibley.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”