British comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor has died from coronavirus at the age of 79. His passing was confirmed to the BBC by his agent.
Brooke-Taylor became a huge star in the U.K. during the ’70s thanks to the surreal BBC sitcom The Goodies, in which he starred alongside Graham Garden and Bill Oddie. In 1975, the trio scored a top 5 hit in Britain with their single “Funky Gibbon,” which reached No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The comedian was also a panelist on the long-running BBC radio show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and played a scientist in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Baby Driver director Edgar Wright, Little Britain star David Walliams, and actor Stephen Fry have all paid tribute to Brooke-Taylor.
“I’m so so sad that a big comedy hero from my childhood, Tim Brooke-Taylor, has passed,” Wright wrote on Twitter. “Loved his energy & go for broke, try anything silliness. He made it seem like making people laugh was the best job in the world.”
“I was obsessed with ‘The Goodies’ as a child, the first comedy show I really loved,” wrote Walliams. “I queued up to get the Goodies’ autographs as a grown-up, and got to meet Tim Brooke-Taylor more recently at a party. I was in total awe, but he was so kind & generous. It is so sad he is gone.”
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“Just heard the devastating news of the death of Tim Brooke-Taylor,” wrote Fry. “A hero for as long as I can remember, and —on a few golden occasions — a colleague and collaborator on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. Gentle, kind, funny, wise, warm, but piercingly witty when he chose to be. So sad.”
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