George Cole dies at 90

TV and film actor George Cole - whose career spanned 70 years - has died aged 90

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George Cole

TV and film actor George Cole

George Cole has died aged 90.

The TV and film actor - whose career spanned 70 years - is best known for his starring role in the British comedy-drama series 'Minder', in which he played the part of Arthur Daley for 16 years, between 1979 and 1994.

Agent Derek Webster confirmed George's death, saying: "It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad death of one of our most loved and respected actors.

"George Cole passed away yesterday at the Royal Berkshire hospital after a short illness. His wife Penny and his son Toby were with him at his bedside."

In addition to his role on 'Minder', George appeared in a number of 'St Trinian's' films, starring as businessman Flash Harry alongside the likes of Terry-Thomas and Sid James.

He also starred in the 1963 movie 'Cleopatra', opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison.

George was adopted at 10 days old and after leaving school at the age of 14, he got a job as an understudy in a musical on Blackpool.

His acting career was interrupted from 1944 until 1947 when he served with the Royal Air Force and he was awarded an OBE in 1992.

He is survived by his second wife, British actress Penny Morrell.

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