Tributes have been flooding in for the late actor John Challis and his character Boycie’s iconic laugh after the Only Fools And Horses star passed away after a struggle with cancer.
As the inimitable Boycie, Challis became one of the most well-known comedy actors on British TV, playing Del Boy and Rodney’s wise-cracking, laughing, second-hand car dealing friend between 1981 and 2003.
He also reprised the character for its own spin-off The Green Green Grass which ran for four years between 2005 and 2009.
The news broke today the 79-year-old had passed away in his sleep – and fans have been quick to pay tribute to the actor, and his most famous character’s unforgettable laugh.
Reacting to the actor’s passing on Twitter, one fan wrote: “No f*****g way!!
That laugh will never be forgotten..
Another added: “What a guy!! Rip!! Boycie was something else that iconic laugh, can you smell onions, legend.”
A third wrote: “Such an iconic character and that laugh, RIP John Challis and Boycie.”
Another wrote: “Ah goodbye John Challis. We’ll never forget Boycie’s laugh. A truly sad day!”
Reporting news of his death, Challis’ family wrote in a statement: “It is with heavy hearts that we bring you such sad news.
“Our dear friend and yours, John Challis, has died peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer.
“He will always be loved for being ‘Boycie’ and leaves a great legacy of work that will continue to bring pleasure and smiles for many years to come.
“Please respect the privacy of John’s family and friends at this difficult time, and be assured that in the future there will be an occasion to celebrate John’s life – when everyone will be welcome to come along.”
His Only Fools and Horses co-star David Jason said in a statement: “It is with much sadness to hear that John Challis, a dear friend, has passed away.
“He was a wonderful actor, a gentleman in the true sense of the word and I know he will be missed by so many.”
Jason added that Boycie was ‘a character so well loved by the many fans of that show so I am pleased that he witnessed the outpouring of admiration recently shown for the 40th anniversary of the first episode in 1981’.
His on-screen wife in the show Sue Holderness, who played Marlene, also paid tribute to Challis. She said: “Marlene without Boycie – it’s unthinkable.
“John Challis was my partner on screen and stage for 36 years and my beloved friend.
“R.I.P. darling John. I will miss you every day.”