Actor Warren Mitchell, best known for starring as Alf Garnett, has died aged 89
A statement from the Till Death Us Do Part star’s family said: “Sadly we can confirm Warren Mitchell died in the early hours of Saturday November 14 surrounded by his family.
“He has been in poor health for some time, but was cracking jokes to the last.”
Family member Jerry Barnett tweeted: “Just got the news my great uncle Warren Mitchell (aka Alf Garnett) died last night. The last of his generation, wonderful and funny man RIP.”
Social media was flooded with tributes following the news of the TV star’s death.
Comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted: “Alf Garnett was one of the most influential and important characters and performances in comedy history. RIP Warren Mitchell.”
Theatre director Rupert Goold wrote: “RIP Warren Mitchell. A deeply soulful and erudite man who genuinely loved the theatre.”
Another fan wrote: “Sad to hear of the death of Warren Mitchell. Socialist through and through, terrific actor and inspiration #RIP”
Born Warren Misell in north London’s Stoke Newington, he served in the Royal Air Force and then went on to read physics as University College, Oxford.
He never finished the course and took up acting in 1951 at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
His role as Alf Garnett was his big break, and the controversial character came to be much-loved by the British public.
Off-screen, Mitchell was an ardent Tottenham Hotspur supporter, but his character Garnett was a West Ham United fan.
Author Neil Gaiman joined fans in paying tribute to the star, writing on Twitter: “Sad to hear Warren Mitchell has died. I acted with him when he played the Director on the @BBCRadio3 version of Signal to Noise. Good man.”