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Actor Nicholas Smith dies aged 81

Nicholas Smith
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Actor Nicholas Smith, best known as the bumptious store manager Mr Rumbold in television’s Are You Being Served?, has died at the age of 81.

His death on December 6 was confirmed in a statement by his acting agency, Michelle Braidman Associates, which described him as “a lovely man and a terrific actor who will be missed by all who knew him”.

A RADA graduate, Smith enjoyed an extensive stage career with notable early appearances at the Royal Court in London and, in the West End, alongside Dorothy Tutin in Portrait of a Queen at the Vaudeville Theatre,  and witSpike Milligan in Treasure Island at the Mermaid Theatre.

A popular television actor who moved easily between drama and comedy, he was seen in a host of programmes including The Frost Report, Ace of Wands and Z Cars before finding fame in the 13-year run of Are You Being Served? from 1972 to 1985 and its short-lived revival, Grace and Favour, in the early 1990s.

An active member of Equity, he served on its executive committee for several years.

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Stage.