Fawlty Towers' Andrew Sachs Dead: Co-stars Pay Tribute

British actor Andrew Sachs- best known for his comic role of the hapless and English challenged Spanish waiter Manuel in the 70s British comedy series, Fawlty Towers- has died. Sachs, who was 86 at the time of his death, struggled with vascular dementia; a disease which forced him to retire from public life after several years in television, film and radio. Sachs will be especially remembered for Manuel's catchphrase, "Que?"
His wife, Melody Sachs, told the Daily Mail: “It wasn’t all doom and gloom; he still worked for two years [after his diagnosis in 2012]. We were happy, we were always laughing we never had a dull moment.
“He had dementia for four years and it wasn’t very pleasant. We didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going."

John Cleese, who created Fawlty Towers with his ex wife, Connie Booth, and played his manic employer - Basil Fawlty- paid tribute to Sachs.

"Just heard about Andy Sachs.Very sad.... I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall, but I had no idea that his life was in danger.
"A very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur. I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973. I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired."

Fawlty Towers co-creator Connie Booth, who played the waitress/ receptionist Polly in the series, had this to say about her late co-star.

"People say that nobody but John could have played Basil; it's just as true that nobody but Andrew could have played Manuel, even though there was a time when Andrew, who was German by birth, wanted to play the character in German. The character became iconic."
She remembered one classic Fawlty Towers scene in which Manuel sets the hotel kitchen on fire. Despite the protective jacket he was badly burned.

"In that moment of panic and pain, Andrew remained calm... And again, in another scene when John whacked him on the head with a frying pan, he ended up slightly concussed but showed no pain," she said.
"It reminds me of my first question to Andrew about what makes something funny. He used the example of slipping on a banana peel. If an actual person slips on a banana peel, he said, we're concerned for him. To be comic, the audience must instinctively know he's hasn't been hurt, that he's OK. Off-stage or on, I never saw pain in Andrew."
Samuel West, son of Prunella Scales who played Mrs Sybil Fawlty, added:
"Creator of one of our most beloved EU migrants. Such warmth and wit; impossible to think of him without smiling."
Sachs died on Thursday December 1st, 2016 and was buried the same day.
Born Andreas Siegfried Sachs in Berlin, he and his parents (his father was Jewish) fled Nazi Occupied Germany in 1938.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, three children and a granddaughter.


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