Peter Sallis dies aged 96

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 5 June 2017
Peter Sallis

Peter Sallis

Peter Sallis died on Monday (05.06.17) at the age of 96 with his family by his side, his agents have confirmed

Peter Sallis has died at the age of 96.

The legendary British actor - who was best known for being the voice of Wallace in the animated 'Wallace and Gromit' films and starring in 'Last Of The Summer Wine' - passed away peacefully on Monday (05.06.17) with his family by his side, his agents have confirmed.

Peter got bitten by the acting bug when he was serving in the RAF as a young man and was asked to take a role in an amateur production of Noel Coward's play 'Hay Fever' and he later admitted that he felt "so at home" as soon as he stepped on stage.

After a successful stint at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he played a variety of characters in films - including 'Anastasia' and 'Wuthering Heights' - as well as on stage and screen, arguably most famously as part of the 'Last of the Summer Wine' cast.

Sallis had previously revealed how "lucky" he felt to be part of the television show.

He had said at the time: "You would not find me getting up to anything crazy that Clegg gets up to, but I have been very lucky to be a part of it all."

With three decades of playing Norman Clegg under his belt, Sallis had become one of the best recognised faces on British television. However, his career continued on the up when he leant his voice to the character of Wallace in the series of animated movies, beginning with 1989's 'A Grand Day Out' as well as appearances in 'The Wrong Trousers' and most recently 2008's 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'.

Asked about the inspiration behind Wallace, Nick Park said: "There was something about his [Sallis'] voice that somehow insisted I make Wallace's mouth really wide to get it around the syllables."

However, it was as Clegg where he felt most connected to his character.

He said: "I am like him in many ways. I am fairly retiring and do not like to be the centre of attention. I think I'm well cast."

Sallis is survived by his son Crispian, 57. His wife, Elaine Usher, died in January 2016 at the age of 84.

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