Entertainment & Arts

Colditz star Anthony Valentine dies at 76

Anthony Valentine Image copyright Getty Images/BBC
Image caption Anthony Valentine played the ruthless German Major Mohn in Colditz about the notorious World War Two prisoner-of-war camp

Actor Anthony Valentine, best known for the 1970s TV series Colditz and Raffles, has died at the age of 76.

Valentine, who had been suffering from Parkinson's disease, died "peacefully" in the early hours of Wednesday morning, his agent Derek Webster said.

In the BBC's World War Two drama series Colditz, he played Luftwaffe officer Major Mohn and the title role of the aristocrat jewel thief AJ Raffles.

Valentine was also known as a theatre and film actor, director and writer.

Mr Webster described him as "brilliant" and "talented".

"In 2012 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In spite of this diagnosis his sense of humour never failed him and he continued to live a full and happy life," he added.

Valentine's wife, the actress Susan Skipper, said: "Tony was my best friend and it was a privilege to know, love and care for him."

The couple first met on Yorkshire Television's Raffles and then appeared together three years later on the television film of Ivor Novello's show The Dancing Years. They married in 1982.

Image caption Anthony Valentine (back left) worked throughout the decades from the 1950s and appeared in numerous TV series including The Detectives on BBC One

As well as his starring role in Colditz - which centred around the inmates of the notorious German prisoner-of-war camp - and Raffles, Valentine was also known for playing the character of upper-class thug Toby Meres in the secret agent drama series Callan, starring Edward Woodward.

The actor was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, but went to school in London. He began his acting career at the early age of 10 and appeared in several BBC children's TV shows, including an adaptation of the classic Billy Bunter stories.

He worked pretty much continuously from the 1950s and had roles in TV dramas throughout the decades, including Lovejoy, New Tricks, The Detectives, Heartbeat, Casualty and Coronation Street.

His last TV role was as a voice actor for the animated series Chuggington: Badge Quest in 2011.

Valentine was also a regular face on the West End stage, most notably in Hans Anderson at the London Palladium and, more recently, Art at the Wyndhams theatre.

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