Louis Mahoney: Fawlty Towers and Doctor Who actor dies aged 81

Tributes have been paid to actor and anti-racist activist Louis Mahoney who has died aged 81.

The Gambian-born British actor appeared in Fawlty Towers and Doctor Who, and also campaigned for racial equality within the acting profession.

Mahoney, who lived in Hampstead, London, was one of the first black actors to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s and starred in several films including Omen II and The Plague of the Zombies.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our wonderful client, Louis Mahoney. Louis paved the way for many actors who followed: a lifelong activist and champion of antiracism. His warmth and good humour will be sorely missed. A celebration of his life will follow. pic.twitter.com/sC4GM9dRKO

— Waring and McKenna (@WaringMcKenna) June 29, 2020

His last TV appearance was in BBC One's The Split earlier this year.

Writer and producer Jack Thorne said: "Louis Mahoney was one of those actors who could carry a whole world through his eyes.

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"Perhaps because he led such an extraordinary life.

"Worked with him on @kibwetavares's film Jonah (where he played Daniel Kaluuya's older self) and he was so magnificent."

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The Equity actors union, which Mahoney worked with to improve the representation of non-white actors on British television, said: "We are saddened to learn of the death of former vice president Louis Mahoney.

"Louis was a passionate activist on behalf of @EquityUK and led the union's fight against racism and apartheid for many years."

Louis Mahoney was one of those actors who could carry a whole world through his eyes. Perhaps because he led such an extraordinary life. Worked with him on @kibwetavares's film Jonah (where he played Daniel Kaluuya's older self) and he was so magnificent. https://t.co/HyNLU47Ih4 https://t.co/oZKdHZOQ3Y

— Jack Thorne (@jackthorne) June 30, 2020

R.I.P. to Gambian-born British actor, Louis Mahoney who has died at the age of 81.

One of a few black actors to appear in the early days of #DoctorWho - as a Newscaster in ‘Frontier in Space’ (1973), Ponti in ‘Planet of Evil’ (1975) and Old Billy in ‘Blink’ (2007). pic.twitter.com/Wp6NgC51vb

— Billy Garratt-John (@GarrattJohn) June 29, 2020

We are saddened to learn of the death of former Vice President Louis Mahoney. Louis was a passionate activist on behalf of @EquityUK and led the union’s fight against racism and apartheid for many years. https://t.co/17HkNHfWm7

— Equity (@EquityUK) June 30, 2020

R I P Louis Mahoney. Gone but never forgotten. Louis played Uncle Jake in Sir Lenny Henry's BBC hit "DELBERT WILKINS SHOW". Sleep with Angels Louis xxxxx pic.twitter.com/l8AwAPHrnc

— Vas Blackwood (@VasBlackwood) June 30, 2020

Emmerdale actor Bhasker Patel said: "Always enjoyed #LouisMahoney's guidance when needed from day one entering our ACTING profession.

"Thank you for your tremendous work and knowledge supporting all of us."

The Bridge Theatre actor Vas Blackwood tweeted: "R I P Louis Mahoney. Gone but never forgotten. Louis played Uncle Jake in Sir Lenny Henry's BBC hit "DELBERT WILKINS SHOW". Sleep with Angels Louis xxxxx".

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Mahoney's agency confirmed the news of his death in a statement on Twitter.

It said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our wonderful client, Louis Mahoney.

"Louis paved the way for many actors who followed: a lifelong activist and champion of antiracism.

"His warmth and good humour will be sorely missed. A celebration of his life will follow."

Mahoney played a doctor in the 1975 Fawlty Towers episode The Germans, which was recently removed from the UKTV streaming platform because it contains racial slurs.