Vicar Of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn has died “peacefully” at the age of 78, his family said.

The actor played mean-spirited councillor David Horton in every episode of the much-loved BBC sitcom, alongside Dawn French, from 1994 to 2007.

He most recently appeared in a Christmas special, The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown, alongside comedienne French, who plays Rev Geraldine Granger, and James Fleet, who plays his on-screen son Hugo.

Waldhorn’s son Josh said he “peacefully passed away” at 6.45am on Monday.

In a statement, he said: “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! He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley, and his son Josh. We will all miss him terribly.”

Waldhorn appeared in classic British TV shows such as The Sweeney, Brush Strokes and Hotel Babylon, and even featured in comedy sketch show French And Saunders.

Read our Gary Waldhorn live blog below for the latest tributes & updates…

  • Gary Waldhorn’s son gives statement

    In a statement yesterday, Josh Waldhorn said: “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!

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

  • Further condolences from Vicar of Dibley fans

    One Vicar of Dibley fan said: “Sad to note that another of the cast of the popular and influential BBC TV comedy The Vicar of Dibley, Gary Waldhorn, has passed away.”

    Another added: “Very sad news indeed. Best known for playing David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley, Gary Waldhorn was one of our finest British actors – excellent in every role he played.

    “Can’t think of anyone better to have played the haughty Mr Horton to Dawn French’s vivacious vicar. RIP.”

  • Round up-of Gary Waldhorn’s other TV and film roles

    Gary’s other TV shows included 1980s and 90s favourites such as Lovejoy and Gallowglass.

    He is also best known for his appearances in Escape to Victory (1981) and Brush Strokes (1986).

    His film credits include the roles of Harlich in Zeppelin, Max in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and Tornado in The Chain. 

  • More on Gary Waldhorn’s theatre roles

    Gary Waldhorn was an accomplished Shakesperian actor and his theatre roles included Good for the RSC in 1981, which went to Broadway the following year.

    He also starred alongside David Tennant in Black Comedy in the West End in 1998.

    He also played the title role in Henry IV at the Old Vic

    He said of his love for acting: “I liked acting as a child and I remember as a first-former in London we were given tickets to the Old Vic to see a Shakespeare play,” he once recalled.

    “I saw Richard Burton play Henry V and my life changed. I came home and said, ‘I wanted to be a Shakespearian actor.'”

  • When was Gary’s final performance as David Horton?

    Gary last played David in a Red Nose Day special in 2015.

    But before that, he starred in every episode of the hit sitcom during it’s 5 series run.

    The show first appeared on 10 November, 1994.

  • Pictured: Gary Waldhorn in Vicar of Dibley

    ACTOR Gary Waldhorn sadly passed away age 78 on Monday January 10, 2022.

    The actor appeared as councillor David Horton in every episode of the popular sitcom, Vicar of Dibley.

    The popular actor is pictured below alongside co-stars Dawn French and Emma Chalmers.

  • Who was Gary’s co-star Emma Chambers?

    Gary’s co-star in The Vicar of Dibley, Emma Chambers, also sadly past away aged 53 in 2018.

    From 1994 to 2007 Emma played the role of Alice Tinker in the hit BBC comedy – starring opposite Dawn French.

    On February 24, 2018, it was announced by Emma’s management service that she had died from natural causes.

  • How many times has Dawn French been married?

    Dawn was famously married to fellow comedy star Lenny Henry.

    Lenny and Dawn adopted a daughter together, Billie.

    The couple wed in 1984 but divorced in 2010.

    She has been married to Mark Bignell since 2013.

  • When did Dawn French first appear in the Vicar of Dibley?

    One of Dawn’s best loved roles is her playing Geraldine Granger in The Vicar of Dibley.

    The actress and comedian was 37 when she first took on the role in 1994.

    The show ran for 5 series but has had numerous Christmas specials.

    Dawn has also reprised the role for Comic Relief.

  • How old is Dawn French?

    Dawn Roma French was born October 11, 1957 making her 63-years-old.

    She is best known for starring in and writing for the comedy sketch show French and Saunders with comedy partner Jennifer Saunders.

    Dawn has appeared in many TV shows.

    The actress is also known for Jam and Jerusalem, Delicious and The Trouble With Maggie Cole.

  • Statement from BBC Comedy

    BBC Comedy said in a statement: “Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nation’s most treasured BBC shows, and of course as councillor David Horton in The Vicar Of Dibley.

    “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

  • Hugo Horton actor looks unrecognisable (continued…)

    James began his acting career in tiny, thankless roles in the ’80s where he played the illustrious character Man in Office in Dempsey and Makepeace.

    The actor is most famous for his role as the bumbling and well-meaning Tom in the 1994 British romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral.

    James has featured in many hit TV series and movies and even played Robbie Sloane in Coronation Street for seven episodes.

    Television and film fanatics will also recognise him from playing Kevin’s dad in cult film Kevin and Perry Go Large, as well as parts in Skins, Bad Education, Death on the Tyne and Death Comes to Pemberley.

    He’s also been busy on stage, including a stint in the RSC production of Twelfth Night.

  • Hugo Horton actor James Fleet looks unrecognisable 28 years later

    ALMOST three decades ago, James Fleet made his debut as the dim-witted Hugo Horton in The Vicar of Dibley – and he looks totally different these days.

    The Vicar of Dibley has been a television staple since it debuted in 1994 and many of its characters have cemented themselves in the hearts of many – in particular, Hugo.

    James, now 69, played the rambling, but lovable Dibley resident until the show ended in 2020.

    The actor joined the 2020 Christmas specials where he reprised his role of the beloved character – and fans were stunned to see how much his appearance had changed during that time. 

  • What else did Gary Waldhorn star in?

    Gary’s other TV shows included 1980s and 90s favourites such as Lovejoy and Gallowglass.

    He is also best known for his appearances in Escape to Victory (1981) and Brush Strokes (1986).

    His film credits include the roles of Harlich in Zeppelin, Max in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and Tornado in The Chain. 

    He was also very active with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

  • Who did Gary Waldhorn play in Vicar of Dibley and Brush Strokes? 

    Actor Gary Waldhorn, is best known for playing Councillor David Horton in TV sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.

    He appeared in every episode of The Vicar of Dibley since the show first aired in 1994.

    He also played Lionel Bainbridge in the first three series of Brush Strokes before the character was written out.

  • Who was Gary Waldhorn? 

    Gary Waldhorn was a 78-year-old English actor and comedian.

    He was best known chiefly for his performances in British television and theatre.

    He studied acting at the Yale School of Drama and graduated in 1967.

    This is where he notably performed in new works written by playwright Lillian Hellman in 1966.

    While he was attending Yale, he met fellow student Christie Dickason, who later became his wife.

    The couple have one son together, Joshua David Waldhorn, born in 1970 in London.

    Gary is known for his work in West End theatre productions and for his collaborations with the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

  • Stars pay tribute to Vicar of Dibley’s Gary Waldhorn

    Dawn French, Robert Lindsay and Samuel West have paid tribute to Vicar of Dibley actor Gary Waldhorn, who has died at the age of 78.

    The veteran TV star, best known for playing councillor David Horton in the comedy series, “peacefully passed away” on Monday, his son Josh confirmed.

    Waldhorn first appeared opposite French in the BBC sitcom in its debut episode in 1994 and continued to appear in every episode, famously locking horns with her character the vicar.

  • All Creatures Great And Small star Samuel West remembers Gary

    All Creatures Great And Small star West shared an image of the pair on stage in 1997, calling him a “terrific actor”.

    On Twitter, West, wrote: “Sad news about Gary Waldhorn.

    “He played my dad, the eponymous king, in both parts of Henry IV at the Old Vic in 1997 (here with my actual dad as the ultimate non-father, Falstaff).

    “A lovely man and a terrific actor.”

  • Robert Lindsay pays tribute to Gary

    My Family star, Lindsay, 72, wrote on Twitter: “And during all this madness news of dear #garywaldhorn passing.

    “Such great memories of working with him and my wonderful pal Trevor Peacock at @rxtheatre.”

  • Gary Waldhorn’s Shakespearean background

    Gary Waldhorn was an accomplished Shakespearean actor, with a list of stage credits to his name.

    Most famously he had performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company including in Much Ado About Nothing.

  • Who is Gary Waldhorn’s wife Christie Dickason? 

    Christie Dickason was born in America.

    However, as a child she lived in Thailand, Mexico and Switzerland. 

     She is the daughter of Indiana University academic David Howard Dickason.

    She became an active theater director and choreographer in London and later a published playwright and novelist

    As of January 2022, she is 80-years-old.

    She has written nine internationally published novels (Century, Random House, HarperCollins) as well as a novel for Young Adults, about outsiders.

    She brings wide-ranging experience: 14 years in theatre, including four years as director/choreographer with the RSC; writing and presenting for BBC Radio 4.

  • When did Gary Waldhorn and Christie Dickason marry? 

    The exact date in which Gary and Christie got married is unknown.

    However, the pair met while attending Yale University between 1964 and 1967.

    It is thought that the pair did not wait too long after University before they decided to wed.

  • How many children did Gary Waldhorn have?

    He married American Christie Dickason, and together they had one son, Joshua David Waldhorn born in 1970.

    Following his father’s footsteps, he became an actor and producer and is known for the movie Truth Decay (2019).

    Josh released a statement on January 11 to the public that his father, Gary, has passed away.

    The statement said: “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!

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

    Waldhorn died on 10 January 2022, at the age of 78.

  • Gary Waldhorn dies aged 78

    Vicar Of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn has died “peacefully” at the age of 78, his family said.

    The TV star was best known for playing councillor David Horton in every episode of the comedy sitcom which debuted in 1994, famously locking horns with the vicar played by Dawn French.

    He most recently appeared in a Christmas special, The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown, alongside French, who plays Geraldine Granger, and James Fleet, who plays his on-screen son Hugo.

    Waldhorn’s son Josh said he “peacefully passed away” at 6.45am on Monday.

  • How successful was the Vicar of Dibley and who guested in the show?

    Back in 2004 the show was placed third in the list of Britain’s Best Sitcoms.

    It featured guest appearances from megastars including Kylie Minogue, Emma Watson, and Johnny Depp.

    Over it’s course, the show won three British Comedy Awards, a National Television Awards in 1998 and was nominated for six Baftas.

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