ACTOR Gorden Kaye, who was best known for his role in the BBC sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo!, has died aged 75.
Kaye, an only child, was born in Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, on 7 April 1941.
He worked in hospital radio in Huddersfield and interviewed The Beatles in 1965.
He came to prominence playing Elsie Tanner’s nephew Bernard Butler in the UK’s long-running soap opera Coronation Street in 1969.
He later made an impression on producer/writer David Croft following guest roles in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, and Come Back Mrs Noah.
In 1982, David Croft sent Kaye the script for the pilot episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo! inviting him to play the central character of René Artois. He accepted and appeared in all 84 episodes (1982–92) and 1,200 performances of the stage version.
Kaye was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1986 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the curtain call of the West End stage version of ‘Allo ‘Allo!, at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
Kaye was the author of a 1989 autobiography, Rene & Me: A Sort of Autobiography in which he described his experiences as a shy, gay, overweight, typecast youth.
The unusual spelling of the name Gorden was the result of a British Actors’ Equity Association typing error.