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Popular Good Life star was avid supporter of Parkinson’s UK for many years
AWAY from his life on stage and screen the late and much loved actor Richard Briers spent many years offering support to sufferers of a degenerative disorder.
During his time as the president of Parkinson’s UK from 1995, and later its honorary vice-president in 2006, Mr Briers leant a helping hand to the cause in Worcester-shire by supporting the Worcester and District branch. His link with the charity began when his second cousin Terry-Thomas was diagnosed with the condition.
Branch committee member Arthur Burgess and his wife Joan met Mr Briers at Malvern Theatres in Septem-ber 2002 while he was playing the role of Prospero in The Tempest, describing being honoured for 12 years of service as a “great” experience.
Mr Burgess said: “He really was through and through, all of the time, a nice guy. It was not just a front, he was there all the time as the same person and that was nice. He gave many years furthering our cause.”
Mrs Burgess also received a certificate of recognition for her contribution to the charity’s work.
The condition occurs when sufferers don’t have enough of a chemical called dop-amine because some nerve cells in their brain have died.
The main symptoms are tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement.
Mr Briers died on Monday, at the age of 79, having battled a serious lung condition for a number of years.
Apart from his role as Tom Good in The Good Life, he is perhaps best known for his role as Smee in the film Peter Pan, as well as starring in shows such as Ever De- creasing Circles and Monarch of the Glen.
Mr Briers was also a patron of the Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society and opened the town’s Market Theatre in 2000 after accepting the keys to the venue in 1999. He last visited the town in 2004, when an audience enjoyed the fund-raising event An Evening with Richard Briers.
Nic Lloyd, chief executive of Malvern Theatres, said: “I had the good fortune to work with Richard Briers on a number of occasions over the last 30 years. He was a very fine actor, superb at comedy and equally as good at tragedy. “He was very professional, very generous and very funny.”
The Worcester and District branch of Parkinson’s UK covers most of south Worcestershire and began life in Malvern in 1988.