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Thursday, March 08, 2007

British comedy actor John Inman dies

John Inman as Mr. HumphreysBritish actor John Inman, famous for his role as a camp shop assistant in the BBC comedy Are You Being Served? died Thursday at the age of 71, his manager said.

Inman died in the early hours at Saint Mary's Hospital in west London after a long battle against Hepatitis A. The BBC reported that his long-term partner Ron Lynch is "devastated."

The actor starred as Mr. Humphries in the popular comedy which was broadcast from 1972 to 1985, and at its height attracted an audience of 22 million viewers in John InmanBritain and was then sold around the world.

His catchphrase "I'm free!" helped him win an award for Funniest Man on Television by the British weekly TV Times in 1976. In recent years, Inman regularly appeared in pantomime productions.

"John was known and loved throughout the world. He was one of the best and finest pantomime dames working to capacity audiences throughout Britain," his manager Phil Dale told the BBC.

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