‘A lovely man and a terrific actor’: Vicar Of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn dies

Vicar Of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn has died at the age of 78.

The actor was best known for playing bullish Councillor David Horton in every episode of the popular TV sitcom from 1994 to 2007.

His most recent appearance came in a Christmas special, The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown, alongside star Dawn French, who plays Rev Geraldine Granger, and James Fleet, who plays his on-screen son Hugo.

Image: Waldhorn photographed in 2005. Pic: Nils Jorgensen/Shutterstock

His son, Josh Waldhorn, said he “peacefully passed away” at 6.45am on Monday.

“We will all miss him terribly,” he said.

“Classically trained, it was the theatre where he truly flourished and he leaves a legacy of entertainment that saw him frequent the boards of Broadway, the West End and our living rooms on the telly.

“He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley and his son Josh.”

Meanwhile, Waldhorn’s Vicar of Dibley co-star Dawn French tweeted a picture of the actor with an emoji of a broken heart.

Fellow actor Samuel West also paid tribute to Waldhorn, calling him a “lovely man and a terrific actor”.

He posted a picture of himself, his father Timothy West and Waldhorn, with the words: “Sad news about Gary Waldhorn. He played my dad, the eponymous king, in both parts of Henry IV at the Old Vic in 1997 (here with my actual dad as the ultimate non-father, Falstaff). A lovely man and a terrific actor. RIP.”

Sad news about Gary Waldhorn. He played my dad, the eponymous king, in both parts of Henry IV at the Old Vic in 1997 (here with my actual dad as the ultimate non-father, Falstaff).

A lovely man and a terrific actor. RIP. pic.twitter.com/7lkzc1GOmF

— Samuel West 💙 (@exitthelemming) January 11, 2022

While actor Robert Lindsay, who previously starred on stage with Waldhorn, also posted a tribute saying he had “such great memories” of working with him.

And during all this madness news of dear #garywaldhorn passing
Such great memories of working with him and my wonderful pal Trevor Peacock at @rxtheatre

— Robert Lindsay (@RobertLindsay) January 11, 2022

Waldhorn appeared in classic British TV shows including The Sweeney, Brush Strokes and Hotel Babylon, and even featured in comedy sketch show French And Saunders.

He was an accomplished Shakespearean actor and had performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company in productions such as Much Ado About Nothing.

Waldhorn also played the part of Max alongside BAFTA winner Trevor Howard in Vivian Stanshall’s cult film Sir Henry At Rawlinson End, and provided voiceovers in adverts for Green Flag, Kwik Fit, Branston and Marmite among others.

A statement from the BBC Comedy team said: “Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nations most treasured BBC shows, and of course as Councillor David Horton in The Vicar Of Dibley.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”