Ronnie Corbett, one of the UK's most beloved comedians, passed away the morning of March 31st at Shirley Oaks Hospital in Croydon. He was 85.
According to his publicist, the broadcasting legend was surrounded by 'loving family' in his final moments. "They have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time," the publicist said.
Anne Hart, Corbett's wife, told The Daily Mail, "Throughout his whole illness, he never once grumbled or complained,' 'No one could have been more courageous." she said.
Corbett was diagnosed with motor neurone disease on March 2015, and Hart said that only close friends and family were notified of his illness.
"He was not in pain, and up to the last 48 hours, he was fully conscious and aware of everything," Hart said.
Corbett was well known for his work partnership with fellow comedian Ronnie Barker. The duo first achieved prominence when they appeared in David Frost's comedy show, The Frost Report. Eventually they would land their own sketch show on the BBC, The Two Ronnies; the show was so successful that it ran from 1971 to 1987.
Ronnie Barker was the first of the two to pass away on 2005.
Celebrities have come out to issue their words of sorrow in response to the broadcasting icon's passing.
Singer Alice Cooper issued a formal statement which reads:
Even Americans know who Ronnie Corbett is. I was fortunate to do a few talk shows with him over the years.
I became his 'flatmate' in a commercial, and even played golf with him. The Two Ronnies are reunited in a better place. Heaven is better than London, isn't it?
Veteran BBC Television Presenter Bruce Forsyth spoke emotionally about his longtime friend: "Ronnie was a friend, someone I admired so much. It's a very, very sad day. I'm going to miss him like crazy, I really will."
Comedian John Cleese, who worked with Corbett on The Frost Show, tweeted:https://twitter.com/JohnCleese/status/715506072920915969
Academy Award-winning movie star Russell Crowe also shared his thoughts on Twitter:https://twitter.com/russellcrowe/status/715494895230660608
Actor Warwick Davis also paid tribute:https://twitter.com/WarwickADavis/status/715666000671277058
Then there is comedian Ricky Gervais, who appeared with Corbett on his TV show:https://twitter.com/rickygervais/status/715493693432541186
Rest in peace, Ronnie.