Beloved British-Australian actor John Bluthal has died at the age of 89.
The sad news was confirmed by his agent, who said in a statement: “We’re sad to announce our wonderful client John Bluthal has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
“John provided us all with years of laughter and entertainment. We will miss John hugely.”
His cause of death is not yet known.
Bluthal rose to fame on the outlandish British comedy The Vicar of Dibley, starring alongside Dawn French.
French has led the tributes to her co-star, writing: “Tons of happy laughs remembered today. Cheeky, naughty, hilarious. Bye darlin [sic] Bluey.”
Her post was accompanied by a picture of Bluthal in the popular British sitcom, in which he played parish council secretary Frank Pickle.
“RIP John Bluthal. One of the greats,” one fan wrote.
Another add: “RIP John Bluthal. Loved him on the Vicar of Dibley!”
The 89-year-old starred it the hit British comedy from 1994 to 2007 and well-known for his character’s long, boring and endless stories.
Before making his debut in the popular series, he had enjoyed roles in a number of big screen productions, including the unofficial 1967 James Bond film Casino Royale, The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night and and Superman III.
His final movie appearance came in the 2016 Coen Brothers’ comedy Hail, Caesar!, which boasted an all-star cast featuring George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton.
Bluthal was born in Poland in 1929 and was forced to flee to Australia with his Jewish family in 1938 to escape the Nazi regime. He later moved to England in 1956, where he began an acting career both on screen and on stage.