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Keith Barron, Duty Free actor, dies aged 83

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 15/11/2017

Keith Barron, who played David Pearce in Duty Free, passed away after a short illness © PA Keith Barron, who played David Pearce in Duty Free, passed away after a short illness Keith Barron, the former Duty Free star, has died aged 83, his agent has said.

The actor and comic - who also starred in Dennis Potter's The Nigel Barton Plays and 1975 Hollywood film The Land That Time Forgot - passed away after a short illness.

Set in Spain, Duty Free ran for three series from 1984 until 1986 with Barron starring as lead character David Pearce.

Barron enjoyed a "long and varied career" the statement said.

It added: "He is survived by his wife Mary to whom he was married for 58 years and his son, Jamie, also an actor."

The TV stalwart was born in South Yorkshire in 1934 and, after national service in the RAF, joined an amateur dramatics group also attended by Brian Blessed.

Keith Barron in a scene from the television drama series 'Redcap - The Alibi' in 1966 © Getty Keith Barron in a scene from the television drama series 'Redcap - The Alibi' in 1966 He later moved to London, where he performed in the series of Potter plays and later transferred the role to the small screen for Stand Up Nigel Barton, and Vote, Vote, Vote For Nigel Barton in the mid-Sixties.

But it was Duty Free where he garnered his reputation as a much-loved star. Set in Spain, Duty Free ran for three series from 1984 until 1986 with Barron starring as gruff northerner David Pearce alongside Gwen Taylor as his wife Amy.

Enjoying their first trip to the country, they meet southerners Robert and Linda Cochran (Neil Stacy and Joanna Van Gyseghem).

In 2014, he toured with fellow original cast members Taylor and Stacy in a stage version of Duty Free.

Actor Keith Barron in London in June 1984 © Getty Actor Keith Barron in London in June 1984 More recently, Barron returned to screens in ITV's DCI Banks as well as roles in Holby City, Doctors, Benidorm, Heartbeat, and Coronation Street.

Chairman of Elstree Studios Morris Bright paid tribute to the actor in a post on Twitter:

Former Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker has paid tribute to her former co-star on the medical series, Keith Barron, who has died aged 83.

She wrote on Twitter: "So sad to hear of dear friend Keith Barron passing away. One of a kind. Guaranteed laughter. Shall never forget those days. Old school."

She posted the tribute alongside a picture of the pair on the set of Casualty.

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