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Fawlty Towers Manuel Dies

Andrew Sachs, best known for his role in the beloved 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers, has died at the age of 86, according to reports.

The actor, who starred as hapless Spanish waiter Manuel in the comedy about a gaffe-prone hotel, reportedly passed away in a care home last week.

His wife Melody said he had been diagnosed with vascular dementia four years ago, but his condition had rapidly deteriorated in the days before his death.

"My heart has been broken every day for a long time," Mrs Sachs told the Daily Mail.

"It wasn't until the very end that it got very bad. He couldn't speak because he had vascular dementia - that means that you lose your speech but you don't lose your mind."

Sachs continued to work in his later years, with recurring roles in the likes of Casualty and Coronation Street.

But the veteran actor also had an unwelcome return to front-page news in 2008 when Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross left lewd messages on his answering machine.

The exchanges, which were broadcast on Brand's late-night Radio 2 programme, included obscene remarks about Sachs' granddaughter, Georgina Baillie.

The scandal quickly became known as "Sachsgate", with Brand resigning from his show and Ross suspended from the BBC for three months as an investigation took place.

At the time, Sachs told reporters he did not want to take the matter to the police, adding: "These two are performers, I'm a performer, and sometimes it goes very wrong and it's up to them to do better."

Sachs was born in Berlin in 1930, and his family moved to England when he was eight years old to escape the Nazi persecution of Jews.

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