Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sykes, a British comedian known for his seminal work on the 1950s radio program The Goon Show alongside Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan and various sitcoms and movies popular in the U.K., has died at age 89.

Sykes “died peacefully this morning after a short illness,” Norma Farnes, his manager, told the BBC. “His family were with him.”

Though obscure to most Americans, Sykes was beloved in Britain for his work in the sitcoms Dress Rehearsal and Sykes and A in the 1950s and 1960s. Sykes also starred in the movies Heavens Above! (1963), Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (1965) and The Spy With A Cold Nose (1966). Sykes, who went nearly deaf in his 30s and nearly blind as well in the 90s, was less active in recent years, but had a small role as the caretaker Frank Bryce in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005.