Peter Sallis, the famous British voice actor and sitcom star, has died at 96, The Guardian reports. His agents issued the following statement: “It is with sadness that we announce that our client Peter Sallis died peacefully, with his family by his side, at Denville Hall on Friday, June 2.”
Sallis is most famous for playing the role of Norman Clegg on BBC’s “Last of Summer Wine,” which is the longest-running sitcom in British history. American audiences are probably more familiar with his work as the voice of Wallace, the cheese-loving inventor at the center of Aardman Animations’ “Wallace and Gromit” franchise. He won the Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Featured Production for his work in 2005’s “Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” The film also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
In tributes being posted across the internet today, Aardman co-founder Peter Lord remembered Sallis as “a great, generous actor and a true gentleman.” BBC director Tony Hall added, “He was a marvellous actor. Who could forget that remarkable voice? Peter will be greatly missed by his many fans. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Sallis was born in Twickenham in southwest London. His first TV role was playing Quince in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”