British actor Frank Thornton has died at 92, his agent reported on Monday. He played Captain Peacock in the long-running comedy, “Are You Being Served,” which was a huge hit with British audiences for its innuendo-laden dialog, reports the Washington Post on Monday, March 18. Thornton’s role as the pompous department store floor manager gained him a loyal following. He had just the droll comedic touch English audiences appreciate.
Frank Thornton died peacefully in his sleep, in London on Saturday morning, according to the report. He was born in London and first worked in insurance, but a few night school courses in drama gave him his start on an enviable career.
The actor is probably best known in the U.S. as a frequent guest on “The Benny Hill Show,” which went on for 20 years and earned two Emmy nominations. The show’s comedy sketches satirized American as well as British people and situations.
Thornton also had a role dozens of movies, including “Carry On Screaming,” and “No Sex Please, We’re British. His final movie was “Gosford Park.”
Frank Thornton “was a great friend and consummate performer who was the glue who really held ‘Are You Being Served?’ together,” the show’s co-creator, Jeremy Lloyd said, on hearing of the death. “He will continue to give people enjoyment.” That’s an advantage to being an entertainment celebrity. The person may die, but the work lives on – not just in the hearts of fans, but on the screen.