Popular TV ventriloquist dies

2015-04-29 13:53

Los Angeles - Keith Harris has died aged 67.

The famed entertainer, who is best known for his comedy acts with loveable puppets Orville the Duck and Cuddles the Monkey, passed away at Blackpool Victoria Hospital after a battle with cancer.

Confirming the news on Twitter, Keith's agent Robert C Kelly wrote:

The comedian became a family favourite in the 1970s and landed a prime-time Saturday evening programme on BBC One, The Keith Harris Show, in the 1980s.

As well as his television career, the ventriloquist reached number four in the UK singles charts in 1982 with Orville's Song.

The star - who lived in Blackpool with his fourth wife, Sarah - was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 but announced he had overcome the disease in April 2014 after having his pancreas removed.

However, just months later he revealed the disease had returned and he was receiving treatment for a bone marrow transplant.

Announcing the return of the disease while on stage in June, he said: ''That was very emotional. I broke down in tears because of their expression of love.''

An onlooker at the time noted: ''He started crying and seemed to be cuddling Orville for support.''

Keith is survived by his wife and three children.

Read more on:    celebrity deaths  |  tv

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