The Darling Buds of May star Moray Watson dies

Catherine Zeta-Jones has led the tributes to her Darling Buds of May co-star Moray Watson, who has passed away aged 88. The actor's family confirmed on Tuesday that Moray had died at London's Hillingdon Hospital after a short illness. Upon hearing of his death, Catherine remembered the star in a heartfelt statement: "Such sad news that the wonderful Moray has passed away," it read. "I have beautiful memories of working with him on The Darling Buds of May. A true gentleman, we shall all miss him. He was and is a national treasure."


Catherine Zeta-Jones has led tributes to her Darling Buds of May co-star Moray Watson

Moray earned a legion of fans playing local retired army officer the Brigadier in The Darling Buds of May, which ran from 1991 to 1993. His other acting credits included starring alongside Cary Grant in The Grass is Greener, and a role in 1960s soap Compact. He also appeared in two episodes of Doctor Who that same decade, and took on the part of Mr Bennet in a 1980 version of Pride and Prejudice.

STORY: Watch Catherine Zeta-Jones' birthday video for daughter Carys

Author and presenter Gyles Brandreth, who was a long-time friend, described Moray as a "gentleman", with his witty sense of humour. "What was extraordinary about him was his versatility," he said. “From a soap like Compact, to making a movie alongside Cary Grant, Doctor Who and the Darling Buds – he really was a safe pair of hands, and a calming influence to have on stage and on set. But he was also tremendously funny.

Moray starred as the Brigadier in the hit comedy drama

"People loved him because, as a person, he was very witty, very droll. He had a fantastic sense of humour, and he would bring out these wonderfully amusing anecdotes – including an excellent impression he used to do of Cary Grant. He was also extremely kind to people, and he was in every sense a gentleman. He had an extremely successful career on the stage too, and he had three one-man shows which he took around the country at various times. You could rely on Moray."

STORY: Iman remembers late husband David Bowie on their wedding anniversary