FREDDIE STARR, the British comedian, impressionist and singer, has died aged 76 at his home on the Costa del Sol according to his manager.
Starr’s manager confirmed the news on Facebook yesterday (Thursday). Neighbours of the comedian told British media he died of a heart attack in his Mijas home and that his body was found by his carer.
Starr had previously said he wanted to die in ‘the place I love’.
Comics and the public have paid tribute to Starr on social media.
Comedian Booby Davro said: “He was the funniest man I have ever seen. I’m so sad we have lost one of our greatest comedy talents.”
Starr was born Frederick Leslie Fowell in Huyton in Lancashire. His early career saw him perform in the Merseybeat group The Midnighters in Hamburg nightclubs where he became an acquaintance of The Beatles.
He broke into mainstream British popular culture after appearing on the Opportunity Knocks talent show where he performed as part of the Freddie Starr and the Delmonts comedy act.
Starr later became known for his eccentric behaviour and was the subject of several tabloid stories. One story which appeared in The Sun in 1986 alleged that he had eaten a friend’s hamster. He later claimed in his 2001 autobiography Unwrapped that the story was a fabrication.
The 1990’s saw Starr front a number of TV shows including Freddie Starr, The Freddie Starr Show and An Audience with Freddie Starr.
The comedian was later dogged by allegations of sexual abuse and was investigated under Operation Yewtree, the probe launched following revelations about the misconduct of Jimmy Savile.
He was arrested first in 2012 and again in 2014 before the Crown Prosecution Services dropped the case due to a lack of evidence.
Starr decided to move to the Costa del Sol after he lost a defamation case against his accuser in 2015.
“I thought ‘I’m not going to tell anyone, I’m just going to get on a plane and go to Spain, the place I love, and this is where I’m going to die’,” he later said.
Starr leaves behind six children.