STEPHEN Lewis, the actor best known for his role as Blakey in TV comedy series On the Buses, has died at the age of 88, his family have said.
The star died peacefully just before 2am on Wednesday morning, in the Cambridge Nursing Home in east London.
His nephew, Peter Lewis, said: “He had terrible arthritis in one knee which really badly affected him, and many years ago he had prostate cancer - and whether that had come back we don’t know.”
He said his uncle’s health had gradually declined over the past few years, but said he died “quite peacefully”.
Mr Lewis said his 84-year-old mother Connie - Stephen’s sister - was in the same care home, having moved in at the same time.
“They looked after each other,” he said.
Mr Lewis added: “I’ll remember him as being a funny man.”
Rebecca, Peter’s daughter, added: “We just want people to remember him.”
Rashid Ebrahimkhan, manager of the nursing home, said: “He was still quite funny. He still had his sense of humour, very much so, like he was on On The Buses. He had the sense of humour until the last.”
He said Lewis would still deliver his famous lines from On The Buses - “I’ll get you for this Butler” and “Get these buses out Butler”.
Mr Ebrahimkhan added: “He was very resilient until the last.”
Lewis, who had been in the care home for around three years, played the part of Inspector Cyril ‘Blakey’ Blake, for four years in On the Buses between 1969 and 1973, and revived the role for spin-off Don’t Drink the Water in 1974-75.