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Dawn French pays heartbreaking tribute to late Vicar of Dibley star

Gary Waldhorn starred as David Horton

Dawn French is mourning the death of her Vicar of Dibley co-star, Gary Waldhorn, who played councillor David Horton in every episode of the sitcom from 1994 to 2007.

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It was announced on Tuesday by Gary's family that he had passed away "peacefully" at the age of 78.

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A statement by his son read, in part: "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!

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"He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley, and his son, Josh. We will all miss him terribly."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dawn French (@dawnrfrench)

 

A short time later, Dawn took to social media in memory of the star. She poignantly shared a black and white headshot of Gary, simply adding a broken heart emoji.

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Fans and famous friends were quick to reach out. "Oh no - I loved watching re runs over Christmas pure brilliance all round. David rest in piece and Thank you for all the Joy you've given us," wrote Matt Baker. "So sorry for your loss. What a class act xx," added Russell T. Davies.

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Another follower shared: "He delivered my all-time favourite line from 'The Vicar of Dibley': at the end of series 2, the simple word… 'Stay'. What utterly perfect delivery." "So sad - he's part of my childhood. He will live on in my house every Christmas x," a fourth wrote.

Gary appeared in a number of classic British TV shows, including The Sweeney and Hotel Babylon. He also featured in the comedy sketch show French and Saunders. But it was playing bullish Councillor Horton for which he was perhaps best known; he most recently appeared in the Christmas special The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown.

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He had been married to wife Christie Dickason – a former theatre director and later a playwright and novelist – since April 1967 and together they shared one son, Joshua.

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