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‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ star Windsor Davies dies aged 88 

Comedy actor Windsor Davies, who starred in 1970s hit show It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, has died aged 88. 

Davies played Sergeant Major Williams in the popular comedy show. 

He also starred opposite Donald Sinden as Oliver Smallbridge in the long-running ITV sitcom Never The Twain about rival antiques dealers during the 1980s. 

The TV legend died on Thursday at home in France, according to his family. 

Windsor Davies, pictured, who played Sergeant Major Williams in ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ has died aged 88

Davies starred in the hit TV show along with Mervyn Hayes, left, and Don Estelle, right

Davies starred in the hit TV show along with Mervyn Hayes, left, and Don Estelle, right

He also played Oliver Smallbridge in ITV's Never The Twain for a decade opposite Donald Sinden, right, as a pair of rival antiques dealers

He also played Oliver Smallbridge in ITV’s Never The Twain for a decade opposite Donald Sinden, right, as a pair of rival antiques dealers

Windsor’s wife Eluned died in September. 

The couple moved to France after Davies retired from acting in his 70s. 

His daughter Jane Davies said: ‘The actor Windsor Davies died peacefully on 17 January 2019. 

‘His wife of 62 years, Eluned, passed away in September.

‘They leave a large and very close family who will all remember them with love, laughter and gratitude.’

It Ain’t Half Hot Mum co star Melvyn Hayes led tributes to the comedy legend: ‘To work with him was a pleasure, a sheer delight… he was a lovely, lovely man.’ 

Stan Collymore said: ‘Sad to hear of the passing of Windsor Davies, another part of a golden childhood TV generation passes on. Rest in Peace, lovely boy.’ 

He played Battery Sergeant-Major ‘Shut Up’ Williams from 1974 to 1981, and in 1975 had a number one hit with the novelty track Whispering Grass with his sitcom co-star, which was one of the biggest selling duets of all time on the UK charts.

Stan Collymore said he was said to hear of the comedy legend's death describing him as part of 'a golden childhood TV generation'

Stan Collymore said he was said to hear of the comedy legend’s death describing him as part of ‘a golden childhood TV generation’

Allo Allo star Vicki Michelle, pictured here with Windsor Davies, described him as a 'genuinely lovely and generous man'

Allo Allo star Vicki Michelle, pictured here with Windsor Davies, described him as a ‘genuinely lovely and generous man’

Jeffrey Holland, best known for his role as Spike in Hi-de-Hi!, called Windsor Davies a 'lovely man' and a 'true professional'

Jeffrey Holland, best known for his role as Spike in Hi-de-Hi!, called Windsor Davies a ‘lovely man’ and a ‘true professional’

He also appeared in the TV series Ring Out An Alibi, The New Statesman, Terrahawks and Never The Twain, as well as the films Carry On England and Carry On Behind.

His most recent credited appearance was in an episode of My Family in 2004.

Actor Tony Robinson was among those paying tribute to the star, writing on Twitter: ‘Whispering grass don’t tell them who kissed there long ago. Why tell them all your secrets, the trees don’t have to know.”

‘”Whispering Grass. UK No1 with Don Estelle 1975. RIP Windsor Davies.’

Producer Jonathan Sothcott wrote: ‘Oh no! RIP that wonderful comedy actor Windsor Davies: unforgettable in 70s sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and the lead in 2 of the later Carry Ons.

‘Impeccable comic timing. Just his voice made me smile. Thanks for all the laughs.’

Windsor, pictured here with his wife Eluned, right, and three of their five children, Nancy, Sarah and Jane, in 1962. The actor was married for 62 years until his wife's death in September

Windsor, pictured here with his wife Eluned, right, and three of their five children, Nancy, Sarah and Jane, in 1962. The actor was married for 62 years until his wife’s death in September

Davies, pictured here in 1975 with Elke Sommer and Jack Douglas in Carry On Behind

Davies, pictured here in 1975 with Elke Sommer and Jack Douglas in Carry On Behind

Allo Allo star Vicki Michelle wrote on Twitter: ‘So sad to hear about Windsor Davies one of my favourite people. 

‘A genuinely lovely generous man. Such fond memories of working with him. Had a huge presence and a huge heart. 

‘Will be missed by all who knew him.’ 

Comedia Danny Baker said: ‘A fabulous and sparkling talent. We have so few overbearing, explosive comic actors today. A magnificent type.’ 

Jeffrey Holland, best known for his role as Spike in Hi-de-Hi!, added: ‘So sorry to hear of the passing of my old mate Windsor Davies. We worked together so often over the years and had so many laughs. 

‘#ItAintHalfHotMum also in the West End and Pantomime. A lovely man and true professional who will be sadly missed.’ 

Comic book writer Rob Williams tweeted: ‘No! The greatest living Welshman has passed! 

‘RIP Windsor Davies, who once signed a Darth Vader poster for me in Bridgend Woolworths and called me “lovely boy.” Not shy of a catchphrase.’

James Dreyfus said: ‘Adored Windsor Davies. Was lucky enough to work with him once. A true gentleman. An extreme pleasure to be around. RIP. X’ 

The deep-voiced man with the moustache who made Britons roll with laughter as Sergeant-Major after a decade battling for his big break 

Windsor Davies’s portrayal of the fierce, deep-voiced, moustached Sergeant-Major in sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum made him a household name in the 1970s.

The actor and singer, who also gained chart-topping success with a novelty duet, died peacefully on Thursday aged 88, his daughter Jane said.

Born in 1930 to Welsh parents in Canning Town, east London, he moved to his father’s village in Ogmore Valley, Wales, at the outbreak of the Second World War.

October 1976: TV legend died on Thursday at home in France, according to his family

October 1976: TV legend died on Thursday at home in France, according to his family

Davies worked as an electrical engineer in the mines, completed National Service in Libya and Egypt, and then trained as a teacher before taking up amateur dramatics in adulthood, according to the British Film Institute.

He spent around a decade trying to make it as an actor before his big break.

Supported by his wife Eluned, Davies played a number of supporting roles in dramas before being cast in BBC show It Ain’t Half Hot Mum (1974-81).

He played Battery Sergeant-Major ‘Shut Up’ Williams, a ferocious disciplinarian determined to impose his authority upon the “bunch of poofs” in the Royal Artillery Concert Party.

The comedy star, whose catchphrases included the mocking ‘Oh dear, how sad, never mind’, once said the show was ‘my saviour’ and ‘saved me from being a great actor’.

1976: Davies played Sergeant Major Williams in the popular comedy show, Carry On

1976: Davies played Sergeant Major Williams in the popular comedy show, Carry On

Away from TV, Davies had a number one single in 1975 with the novelty hit Whispering Grass along with co-star Don Estelle.

The track, which sold well over a million copies, was announced as the sixth-biggest selling duet of all time in 2011 by the Official Chart Company.

Davies struck up a successful partnership with the diminutive 4 ft 9 ins Estelle, who played Lofty in the 70s sitcom, after they met on the north of England club circuit.

A follow-up album by the duo, Sing Lofty, sold more than 80,000 copies.

It Ain’t Half Hot Mum ran for seven years and brought the release of a cast album of the show.

Davies’s credits also include Doctor Who, the TV series Ring Out An Alibi, The New Statesman, Terrahawks and Never The Twain, as well as the films Carry On England and Carry On Behind.

His most recent credited appearance was in an episode of My Family in 2004.

Eluned, his wife of 62 years, died in September and they leave behind ‘a large and very close family who will all remember them with love, laughter and gratitude’, a family statement said.

The couple are widely reported to have had five children, including the casting director Jane Davies.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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