Wallace and Gromit star Peter Sallis has died, aged 96

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer
Actor Peter Sallis arrives at the UK Charity premiere of animated film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit – Credit: Getty Images

‘Wallace and Gromit’ star Peter Sallis has died.

Best known for ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, the 96-year-old actor was also known as the voice of Wallace in the animated ‘Wallace and Gromit’ films such as ‘A Grand Day Out’ and ‘The Wrong Trousers’.

His agent has confirmed that he died peacefully with his family by his side.

Jonathan Altaras Associates have since released a statement:

“It is with sadness that we announce that our client Peter Sallis died peacefully, with his family by his side, at Denville Hall on Friday, June 2.”

Peter Sallis as 'Cleggy' in Last of the Summer Wine - Credit: BBC

Born in 1921, Peter Sallis made his TV debut as the lead character in ‘The Diary of Samuel Pepys’. Following a number of movie appearances, he returned to British TV as Penley in the classic ‘Doctor Who’ episode, ‘The Ice Warriors’.

Of course, his biggest role came in 1973 when he landed the part of ‘Cleggy’ in the hit TV sitcom, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’. Originally starring alongside Bill Owen and Michael Bates, the lineup shifted in 1975 after just two seasons hen bates dropped out due to illness. With Brian Wilde joining the show as ‘Foggy’, he completed the loveable trio we all remember – Compo, Foggy and Clegg.

And they went on to star alongside seasoned comedy veterans (and special guests) such as Burt Kwouk and Norman Wisdom.

Then, in 1989 Sallis joined the first ‘Wallace and Gromit’ movie – ‘A Grand Day Out’.

This began a long and humorous career as Wallace – the long-suffering human owner of the far-more-intelligent dog, Gromit. He went on to voice the character in ‘The Wrong Trousers’, ‘A Close Shave’, ‘The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’ and ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’.

He also appeared in the spin-offs, ‘The Incredible Adventures of Wallace and Gromit’ and ‘Wallace and Gromit’s Cracking Contraptions’.

Peter Sallis had retired from acting in 2010, and had not made a film or TV appearance, nor voiced any animated characters, since then.

Peter Sallis passed away 5 June 2017, aged 96.