Those we lost in 2002

Spike Milligan, possibly the single most influential figure in British comedy of the last century, died of liver failure at the age of 83.

Dudley Moore, Beyond The Fringe pioneer, Peter Cook's perfect foil, and unlikely Hollywood 'sex thimble' died at 66 from a degenerative brain condition.

Barry Took, the truly groundbreaking writer of Round The Horne and other comedies too numerous to mention, died at 73 after a battle with cancer.

"Professor" Stanley Unwin, master of nonsense, who poppeloed his cloggles aged 90.

Milton Berle, the vaudevillian comedian who became American TV's first star, died at the age of 93

Pat Coombs, the talented comedy character actress, died at her London home at the age of 75.

Maurice Denham, a pioneering actors of British radio comedy who starred in the Forties hits It's That Man Again and Much-Binding-In-The-Marsh died at the age of 92.

Patrick Fyffe, of Hinge and Bracket, at the age of 60.

Billy Wilder, director of Some Like it Hot, died of pneumonia at 95.

Ian McNaughton, pioneering director of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Spike Milligan's Q series and Rising Damp, died at the age of 76.

Barbara Lott, the character actress who found fame as Ronnie Corbett's domineering ('Language, Timothy!') mother in the sitcom Sorry! died at 82.

George Duffus, Scottish comic who never became known south of the border, died of throat cancer at the age of 58.

Published: 30 Dec 2002

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