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sad news Irish screen and stage actor Peter Bowles passes away on St Patrick's Day

Mr Bowles also played also played businessman Richard DeVere in the sitcom To The Manor Born

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Peter Bowles had a hugely successful career on stage and screen (PA)

Peter Bowles had a hugely successful career on stage and screen (PA)

Peter Bowles had a hugely successful career on stage and screen (PA)

IRISH R.M star Peter Bowles has died from cancer on St Patrick’s Day.

The series was broadcast from 1983 to 1985 and centred on Major Yeates (Bowles), who played an English-born Resident Magistrate based in then British-ruled Ireland at the end of the 19th century.

The R.M. has to deal with all sorts of everyday events with colourful characters, often being outfoxed by the machinations of his Anglo-Irish friend, Flurry Knox (Bryan Murray). Anna Manahan played the colourful housekeeper, Mrs Cadogan, while Virginia Cole played Bridget.

It was filmed at locations near Naas in Co Kildare and Rathcoole in Co Dublin and broadcast on RTE in Ireland and Channel 4 in the UK.

Bowles was previously best-known for playing self-made businessman Richard DeVere in sitcom To The Manor Born.

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Bowles starred alongside Dame Penelope Keith in the popular series To The Manor Born (PA)

Bowles starred alongside Dame Penelope Keith in the popular series To The Manor Born (PA)

Bowles starred alongside Dame Penelope Keith in the popular series To The Manor Born (PA)

"The actor Peter Bowles has sadly passed away at the age of 85 from cancer,” statement issued on behalf of his family said today.

"Starting his career at the Old Vic Theatre in 1956, he starred in 45 theatrical productions ending at the age of 81 in The Exorcist at the Phoenix Theatre.

"He worked consistently on stage and screen, becoming a household name on TV as the archetypal English gent in To The Manor Born, Only When I Laugh, The Bounder and Lytton's Diary, which he devised himself.

"He leaves his wife of over 60 years, Sue, and their three children Guy, Adam and Sasha."

To The Manor Born aired from 1979 to 1981, with Bowles and co-star Penelope Keith reprising their roles in a 2007 special.

Bowles was the son of a chauffeur and nanny, Bowles was born in London in 1936, growing up in Nottingham.

To The Manor Born aired from 1979 to 1981, with Bowles and co-star Dame Penelope Keith reprising their roles in a 2007 special.

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Dame Penelope and Bowles with Sarah Ferguson in 2008 (PA)

Dame Penelope and Bowles with Sarah Ferguson in 2008 (PA)

Dame Penelope and Bowles with Sarah Ferguson in 2008 (PA)

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Son of a chauffeur and nanny, Bowles was born in London in 1936, growing up in Nottingham.

He was a talented actor and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

He began his stage career with the London based Old Vic Company, touring in North America, before working for the Old Vic in Bristol.

His early TV career saw him cast as the villain - including in shows The Saint and The Avengers.

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Bowles, pictured in 2019, had a career which spanned TV, film and stage (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Bowles, pictured in 2019, had a career which spanned TV, film and stage (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Bowles, pictured in 2019, had a career which spanned TV, film and stage (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

It wasn't until his 40s, that the moustachioed role of Richard DeVere in To The Manor Born made him a household name and its height, the BBC sitcom commanded audiences of 20 million.

"If you have a great popular TV success, particularly in comedy, people don't think you can act on stage,” he said in 2010.

"People thought I was just a sitcom actor and the BBC told me I'd never work in drama again. I didn't realise there were two worlds. It was new to me. I found it very odd and frustrating."

He recently starred alongside Jenna Coleman in ITV series Victoria, playing the role of the Duke of Wellington.

His final screen credit was playing a vicar in 2021 movie Off The Rails, starring Jenny Seagrove.

Bowles leaves behind his wife, actress Susan Bennett, and their three children Guy, Adam and Sasha.

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