Christopher Beeny, star of 'Upstairs, Downstairs' and 'Last Of The Summer Wine', dead aged 78

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Christopher Beeny has passed away at the age of 78. (Photo by Steve Wood/Daily Express/Hulton/Archive/Getty Images)

Christopher Beeny, star of Upstairs, Downstairs and Last Of The Summer Wine, has died aged 78.

The actor was best known for playing footman Edward Barnes in ITV drama series Upstairs, Downstairs about an upper class household and their servants, which ran for five series from 1971 to 1975.

Beeny’s son Rick Blackman announced the news on Twitter.

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He wrote: “I have some sad news to impart. On Friday 3rd of January my old dad Christopher Beeny died at his home in Kent. He was 78. Comforted to know he was not alone at the end and was in his armchair”.

Beeny also starred in In Loving Memory as Billy Henshaw opposite Dame Thora Hird and as Lenny Grove in The Grove Family. He also featured in BBC sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine and appeared in Emmerdale in 2006.

His screen debut was in The Long Memory in 1953, also opposite Dame Thora, after he trained at the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art.

'Upstairs, Downstairs' stars Jean Marsh, Gareth Hunt, Nicola Pagett, Christopher Beeny, Jenny Tomasin, Simon Williams, Evin Crowley and Hazel Wynn Owen (Credit: Getty Images)

He went on to make regular appearance in the theatre, including in Stop The World – I Want To Get Off, Oliver! and Boeing Boeing and he toured the play There’s No Place Like A Home with ‘Allo ‘Allo’s Gorden Kaye.

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Blackman added: “I want to thank you all for the kind tributes and messages following the death of my dad. I’ve tried to answer and like as many as possible but the sheer volume has been staggering. Thank all you so much from me and the rest of the family.”