Confirmed by his agent, the legendary Last of the Summer Wine actor and the voice of Wallace from Wallace & Gromit, Peter Sallis, has passed away. It has been said that Sallis passed away peacefully with his family by his side. He was 96.
Sallis was most famous for his role as Norman "Cleggy" Clegg in the hit comedy show Last of the Summer Wine, which began in 1973 and wrapped in 2010. Sallis was the only actor to appear in all 295 episodes of the iconic show, which was also Britain's longest-running sitcom.
Jonathan Altaras Associates announced that Sallis passed away at Denville Hall, a care home for actors in London, on Friday 2nd June. The released statement from Jonathan Altaras Associates says:
“It is with sadness that we announce that our client Peter Sallis died peacefully, with his family by his side, at Denville Hall on Friday, June 2.”
Cleggy From the Lovable Last of the Summer Wine
The Yorkshire-based show Last Of The Summer Wine actually started off as a 'Comedy Playhouse Pilot' in 1972 before it became a successful series in 1973. Sallis was part of the original cast and appeared in every single episode.
Despite the many actors came and went in various seasons, the famous line-up of actors for the sitcom was Peter Sallis as Cleggy, Bill Owen as Compo, and Brian Wilde as Foggy Dewhurst.
The Voice of Wallace
Today, audiences who never experienced the sitcom will recognize Sallis as the voice of Wallace in Nick Park's wonderful Wallace & Gromit animated films. His voice is recognized the world over thanks to the comedies.
Sallis's run as Wallace began in 1989 with 'A Grand Day Out,' in which Wallace and his dog Gromit flew to the moon in a homemade rocket, all for some cheese. The first Wallace & Gromit film was nominated for an Oscar. Two more short films followed 'A Grand Day Out:' 'The Wrong Trousers' in 1993, and 'A Close Shave' in 1995. These two short films were Oscar winners. All the Wallace & Gromit films won BAFTAs, and the characters starred in the feature film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, in 2005.
Speaking about Wallace & Gromit, Sallis said he was "delighted to have such success late in life".
“It is pleasing knowing millions are going to see your work and enjoy it. To still be involved in a project like this at my age is heart-warming. To have a legacy like this is very comforting. I am very lucky to have been involved.”
Aardman Studios producer Nick Park, said his creations owed much of their popularity to the actor Peter Sallis.
“Just the way he pronounces Wensleydale cheese is enough. Once he’s in place, everyone else fits around him."
Fans will miss Peter Sallis, but will remember him for his remarkable work.
What is your favorite Peter Sallis moment?