Gary Waldhorn dead: Vicar of Dibley actor who played Councillor David Horton dies at 78

Vicar of Dibley actor Gary Waldhorn has died at 7, his son has confirmed

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Gary Waldhorn plays Cllr David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley

Actor Gary Waldhorn has sadly passed away at the age of 78.

The much-loved star was best known for playing the role of Councillor David Horton in TV sitcom The Vicar of Dibley alongside co-star Dawn French.

Gary died on Monday, his son Josh confirmed in a statement.

His grieving son shared: “Classically trained, it was the theatre where he truly flourished and he leaves a legacy of entertainment that saw him frequent the boards of Broadway, the West End and our living rooms on the telly!

“He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley and his son Josh. We will all miss him terribly.”

Gary Waldhorn, famed for playing David Horton, has died



A statement from BBC Comedy read: “Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nations most treasured BBC shows, and of course as Councillor David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

The actor studied at Yale School of Drama and graduated in 1967. During his time there, he met fellow student Christie Dickason who later became his wife.

His son released a statement

Waldhorn was an iconic part of the hit comedy, which ran from 1994 until 2000 and intermittently from 2004 to 2020.

The late star recently appeared in a Christmas special, The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown, alongside co-star Dawn, and James Fleet, who plays Hugo.

He also appeared in classics like Brush Strokes, where he played Lionel Bainbridge from 1986 until 1991.

The actor also had roles in the likes of Lovejoy and Gallowglass.

His talent wasn’t only on screens but also on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Picture shows (L-R) Liz Smith as Letitia Cropley, James Fleet as Hugo Horton, Roger Lloyd-Pack as Owen Newitt, Dawn French as Geraldine Granger, John Bluthal as Frank Pickle, Gary Waldhorn as David Horton and Trevor Peacock as Jim Trott



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He also had roles in films such as 1979’s Hanover Street, The Great Riviera Bank Robbery from the same year and 1984’s The Chain.

Fans took to Twitter to share their condolences after hearing the tragic news.

“Sad news about Gary Waldhorn Karl. May he R I P,” one user said while another added: “Sad to note that another of the cast of the popular and influential BBC TV comedy The Vicar of Dibley, Gary Waldhorn, has passed away.”

Gary played David Horton



“Very sad news indeed,” one user said. “Best known for playing David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley, Gary Waldhorn was one of our finest British actors – excellent in every role he played. Can’t think of anyone better to have played the haughty Mr Horton to Dawn French’s vivacious vicar. RIP.”

In 2018, the Vicar of Dibley cast were heartbroken when Emma Chamber died aged 53.

The British star was best known for playing Alice Tinker in the BBC’s The Vicar of Dibley.

A statement from her agency said Chambers died from natural causes and that she would be “greatly missed”.

The statement read: “Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many”.

Vicar of Dibley was a ratings success, the series was inspired by changes introduced by the Church of England in 1992 that permitted the ordination of women.

It is widely perceived to have been based on the Revd Joy Carroll, one of the first female priests.

In 2004 it was placed third in the list of Britain’s Best Sitcoms and featured guest appearances from stars including Kylie Minogue, Emma Watson, and Johnny Depp.

The programme won three British Comedy Awards, a National Television Awards in 1998 and was nominated for six Baftas.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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