Actor Stephen Lewis, known for his role in sitcom On The Buses, has died aged 88, his family said.
The star died peacefully at 1.50am on Wednesday in the Cambridge Nursing Home, in Wanstead, east London.
He was ‘in high spirits’ right until the end, his niece Rebecca Lewis said, adding that he had been in the care home for around three years.
“He was always singing and joking,” she said.
Lewis, born in Poplar in east London, played Inspector Cyril ‘Blakey’ Blake in On the Buses, and also starred in Last of the Summer Wine.
His nephew, Peter Lewis, told the Press Association: “He had terrible arthritis in one knee which really badly affected him, and many years ago he had prostate cancer – and whether that had come back we don’t know.”
He said his uncle’s health had gradually declined over the past few years, but said he died ‘quite peacefully’.
Mr Lewis said his 84-year-old mother Connie – Stephen’s sister – was in the same care home, having moved in at the same time.
“They looked after each other,” he said.
Mr Lewis added: “I’ll remember him as being a funny man.”
Rebecca, Peter’s daughter, said: “We just want people to remember him.”
Rashid Ebrahimkhan, manager of Cambridge Nursing Home, said: “He was still quite funny. He still had his sense of humour, very much so, like he was on On The Buses. He had the sense of humour until the last.”
He said Lewis would still deliver his famous lines from On The Buses – “I’ll get you for this Butler” and “Get these buses out Butler”.
Mr Ebrahimkhan added: “He was very resilient until the last.”