Dawn French and fans heartbroken after death of The Vicar of Dibley actor Gary Waldhorn

Dawn French has said she is ‘heartbroken’ over the death of The Vicar of Dibley actor Gary Waldhorn, known for playing Councillor David Horton.

Gary – who also starred with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as 80s and 90s telly favourites like Brush Strokes, Lovejoy and Gallowglass – died aged 78 on Monday

David played chairman of the parish council in the BBC comedy alongside Dawn’s titular vicar, The Reverend Geraldine Granger, and the characters didn’t always see eye to eye.

Josh Waldhorn issued a statement about his passing, saying: “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. We will all miss him terribly.”

BBC Comedy added: “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.”

After the sad news broke, Dawn shared a snap of Gary with a ‘heartbroken’ emoji

Following the announcement Dawn put a simple broken heart emoji alongside a picture of Gary on her social media as she tried to process the news.

Fans joined in with their own tributes and memories with one saying: “He played every role he had brilliantly. RIP Gary.”

Another added: “Very sad news today about your colleague and sparring partner #GaryWaldhorn Your scenes together in #VicarOfDibley were brilliant #RIPGaryWaldhorn.”

A third said: “Absolutely gutted, I’ll never forget what you both did for me during the Dibley years. You pulled me through some very very tough times.”

And a fourth addes: “RIP Gary Waldhorn. Loved him. in Vicar of Dibley but he’ll.always be Lionel from Brush Strokes for me and mine #garywaldhorn.”


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