British actor Michael Jayston, best known for his role in the British comedy Only Fools and Horses, has passed away at the age of 88 after a brief illness. Jayston played the character of James, the father of Rachel “Raquel” Turner, portrayed by Tessa Peake-Jones in the popular sitcom. His memorable appearance was in the episode titled Time On Our Hands, in which James, an antiques dealer, discovers a valuable pocket watch that leads the Trotter family to become millionaires.
Jayston’s family released a statement announcing his death and requesting privacy during this difficult time. The statement described Jayston as a person full of love, laughter, and happiness, who cherished meeting his fans around the world.
Born in Nottingham, Jayston began his acting career in the 1960s after training at Guildhall School of Drama. He appeared in various television shows and films throughout his career, including notable performances in Shakespeare productions such as Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, and King Lear. He also made appearances in popular TV series like Doctor Who as the character Valeyard, opposite Colin Baker as the Doctor, and soap opera Emmerdale.
Outside of television, Jayston made a mark in the theater industry, with one of his notable roles being Captain Von Trapp in the 1981 stage revival of The Sound of Music at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, alongside Petula Clark’s Maria. He also worked as a voice artist and recorded several of John le Carré’s novels in audiobook format.
Michael Jayston was married three times and is survived by his third wife, Ann Smithson. His contribution to the entertainment industry will be remembered and cherished by fans and colleagues alike.
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