British actor John Inman dies at 71

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

The British stage and television actor John Inman has died at the age of 71. Mr. Inman, born in Preston, Lancashire, had been suffering from the Hepatitis A infection for some time.

"John, through his character Mr. Humphries of Are You Being Served? was known and loved throughout the world. He was one of the best and finest pantomime dames working to capacity audiences throughout Britain," said Inman's manager, Phil Dale.

Most famous for his role in the BBC comedy series Are You Being Served?, Inman entered popular culture with his appearance as the camp store assistant, Mr Humphries, and popularised the catchphrase "I'm Free!" across British society.

Tributes from across the acting and stage professions have been coming in all morning, since the death was announced by Mr Inman's spokesman earlier this morning. According to the Londonpaper, dated 8th of March, Inman's long-term partner, Ron Lynch, was said to be "devastated" at his death. His co-star, Wendy Richard who played opposite him in the BBC show, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, "John was one of the wittiest and most inventive actors I've ever worked with. He was a brilliant, brilliant pantomime dame and he was a very good all-round actor, really. He was a true professional."

Inman’s manager Phil Dale told the BBC - "John was known and loved throughout the world. He was one of the best and finest pantomime dames working to capacity audiences throughout Britain". Mike Berry, who played Mr Spooner in Are You Being Served?, told the BBC: "I felt like going home at the end of the day and ironing my face, he made me laugh so much! As funny as he was in front of the camera, he was funnier off.”

It was revealed on Friday, March 9 that Australia's premier gay and lesbian publication, SX, would publish a special tribute in Inman's honour, commemorating the actor with a feature article written by the magazine's star journalists, Katrina Fox and Peter Hackney.

Sources

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