Ronnie Corbett dies aged 85

Gemma Strong

Beloved British comedian and actor Ronnie Corbett has died at the age of 85. The star, best known as one half of The Two Ronnies, was surrounded by his family when he passed away, his publicist confirmed.

A statement read: "Ronnie Corbett CBE, one of the nation's best-loved entertainers, passed away this morning surrounded by his loving family. They have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time."

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Ronnie Corbett was one of the nation's best-loved comedians

Ronnie was married to wife Anne Hart for more than 50 years, and they had two daughters together, actresses Emma and Sophie Corbett; their first child Andrew tragically had a heart defect and died just six weeks old.

The Edinburgh-born star rose to fame alongside Ronnie Barker in The Frost Report from 1966 until 1967, but the duo are best known for their classic comedy show The Two Ronnies, which lasted from 1971 until 1987.

The pair - one of the most succesful double acts of the 1970s and 80s - performed sketches and songs, and made famous a number of catchphrases, most notably, "It's goodnight from me. And it's goodnight from him."

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The Two Ronnies were one of the UK's most successful double acts

Ronnie's most popular role away from The Two Ronnies was as Timothy Lumsden in the sitcom Sorry, and his later career included appearances in Have I got News For You, Extras, and Burke and Hare. In December 2010, he starred in the one-off special: The One Ronnie, and he recently took part in the BBC Radio 4 show When The Dog Dies.

Already an OBE, Ronnie was appointed a CBE in the 2012 New Year honours for his services to entertainment and charity.

David Walliams is among those who have paid tribute to the star

Following the sad news of Ronnie's death, tributes have started flooding in from fellow entertainers. "RIP the lovely, funny legend Ronnie Corbett. It was an absolute honour & joy to have known you," tweeted Ricky Gervais, while Jason Manford wrote: "'And it's goodnight from him.' RIP Ronnie Corbett. Legend, Gentleman."

"Goodbye my friend and comedy idol #RonnieCorbett," added David Walliams. "Thank you for all the laughs. It was the greatest honour to know and work with you."

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