Vanessa Ho Staff Writer
BBC News has reported that British screen and stage actor Richard Briers has passed away at the age of 79 of emphysema, according to his agent.
His agent added that Briers died “peacefully” at his and had been battling the serious lung condition for several years.In interviews, Briers blamed years of smoking for his emphysema.
In recent years, Briers has appeared on such shows as Torchwood and Extras as well as shows like Doctor Who and Monarch of the Glen. But he will forever be known to me as the star of the 1975 BBC comedy The Good Life or as it was known in North America, Good Neighbours. In that show, Briers played Tom Good, a draughtsman for a company that makes plastic toys for breakfast cereal boxes. Having tired of the rat race and no longer able to take his job seriously, he quits his job and decided to leave a life of self-sufficiency at his home in a suburb of London with his wife, Barbara (Felicity Kendal). The premise of the show actually increased my desire to want to plant my own fruit and vegetable garden and live off the land like the Goods except without all the pigs, chickens and goats running around my backyard.
Briers also appeared on the big screen too. Most notably in all of Kenneth Branagh’s directed Shakespeare films that include Much Ado About Nothing and 2006’s As You Like It that starred Bryce Dallas Howard.
In 1989, Briers was named an Officer of the British Empire, and in 2003, he was named a Commander of the British Empire.
Briers is survived by his wife, Ann Davies and their two daughters, Lucy (who is also an actress and best known as Mary Bennet in the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice that starred Colin Firth) and Katie.