'Fawlty Towers' Star Andrew Sachs Dead at 86

Andrew Sachs
Andrew Sachs attends the Best Of British comedy lunch in London, September 26, 2008. The comedian has died aged 86. Dan Kitwood/Getty

Andrew Sachs, who played the bumbling waiter Manuel in classic British comedy Fawlty Towers, has died aged 86.

Sachs died on November 23 following a secret four-year battle with dementia, his wife Melody told the Daily Mail. He was buried Thursday.

The actor's wife told the newspaper that Sachs was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which had left him unable to speak and in a wheelchair.

"It didn't get really bad until quite near the end. I nursed Andrew, I was there for every moment of it," said his wife.

'Dementia is the most awful illness. It sneaks in in the night, when you least expect it. It took a long time for Andy's brain to go. Even about a month before he died he was sitting in the garden and chatting away."

Sachs became a household name in Britain for playing Manuel, the waiter in Fawlty Towers between 1975 and 1979. Set in a hotel, his hapless nature often enraged the show's lead, Basil Fawlty, played by John Cleese.

Cleese tweeted:

Just heard about Andy Sachs. Very sad....
I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago...

— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) December 1, 2016

...and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall,but I had no idea that his life was in danger. A very sweet gentle...

— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) December 1, 2016

...and kind man and a truly great farceur.I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973.I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired

— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) December 1, 2016

Other stars also paid tribute to the titan of British comedy:

I had the pleasure of working with #AndrewSachs in 'Attachments'. A beautiful soul who never tired of all my 'Fawlty Towers' questions.

— David Walliams HQ (@davidwalliams) December 2, 2016

RIP Andrew Sachs who spun comic gold as Manuel in 'Fawlty Towers'. pic.twitter.com/nutlKpxK52

— edgarwright (@edgarwright) December 1, 2016

So sad that Andrew Sachs has passed away.This terrible year goes on & on.He gave us all so many laughs on Fawlty Towers, thank you.R.I.P.

— Tony Blackburn (@tonyblackburn) December 1, 2016