Duty Free star Keith Barron has died

Photo: Getty Images

The TV actor, who also had roles in Coronation Street and Where the Heart Is, passed away after a short illness aged 83.

He was best known for playing David Pearce in Yorkshire Television sitcom Duty Free, which ran from 1984 until 1986.

The actor also starred in series Take Me Home and film The Land That Time Forgot.

Confirming his death, his agent said: "He had a long and varied career which included The Nigel Barton Plays by Dennis Potter of which he was immensely proud.

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

Barron, from Mexborough, South Yorks, also appeared in Coronation Street as George Trench for 11 episodes.

He also had appearances in A Touch Of Frost and The Odd Man.

Barron's final TV appearance was last year on DCI Banks where he played Arthur Banks for ten episodes.

The actor also starred in BBC Radio 4 show Bunn and Co. and performed in BBC's Test the Nation in 2006 where it was revealed he had an IQ of 146.

He also appeared in dictionary corner on several episodes of Countdown.

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Set in Spain, Duty Free ran for three series from 1984 until 1986 with Barron starring as the lead character.
The show was about two couples - David and Amy Pearce and Robert and Linda Cochran, who meet on holiday in the same hotel in Marbella.

But Barron's character David begins having an affair with Linda.

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.

Barron started his career at the former Sheffield Playhouse, where he also met his wife, stage designer Mary Pickard.

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.

Chairman of Elstree Studios Morris Bright paid tribute to the actor, saying: "Deeply saddened at passing of the great actor Keith Barron.

"He was a good friend of the industry and of @ElstreeStudios. We knew he had been unwell. Last met him at Elstree in 2009.

"A true gentleman."

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