Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Actor Nicholas Smith dies aged 81

Nicholas Smith
by -

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.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.