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'Only Fools and Horses' Actor John Challis Passed Away at 79

Laura Beatham
Sep 21, 2021
05:40 A.M.
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Beloved actor John Challis passed away at 79, after being battling cancer for two years. The "Only Fools and Horses" official Twitter page confirmed the news on September 19, 2021.

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"Only Fools and Horses" actor John Challis passed away this month after canceling his tour because of his health. The news was confirmed on the late actor's official Twitter page on September 19, 2021.

Challis's Twitter page shared four tweets about the actor's passing. Firstly the account confirmed his passing and stated that he died peacefully in his sleep after having cancer.

John Challis pictured on the red carpet during the National Television Awards, 2019, United Kingdom. | Photo: Getty Images

John Challis pictured on the red carpet during the National Television Awards, 2019, United Kingdom. | Photo: Getty Images

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The page shared the Challis would have been touched and overwhelmed by the many messages coming in from his fans and friends. Many of his co-stars and famous friends shared their condolences on social media.

In the following tweet, the author of the tribute shared that Challis would always be remembered for his character, Terrance Aubrey "Boycie" Boyce, on "Only Fools and Horses" and that:

"he leaves a great legacy of work which will continue to bring pleasure and smiles for many years to come."

John Challis as Boycie on "Only Fools and Horse." | Photo: Youtube/BBC Comedy Greats.

John Challis as Boycie on "Only Fools and Horse." | Photo: Youtube/BBC Comedy Greats.

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The post also urged fans to respect the privacy of both Challis's family and friends as they move through his difficult time. However, the page mentioned there would be an event to celebrate his life as soon as possible.

Instead of sending the family flowers, the page asked fans to donate to animals charities that meant a lot to Challis. They then shared the website links for Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk, and The British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Challis was supposed to appear on 30 scheduled dates to talk about his experiences on "Only Fools and Horses."

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Challis and his character Boycie, an unscrupulous second-hand car dealer, became a fan favorite when he appeared on the show alongside his costars, David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, and Sue Holderness.

Holderness, who played Challis's onscreen wife, Marlene, paid tribute to the late actor online. Holderness shared that the pair worked together for 36 years, and that he was a beloved friend. Part of her tweet read:

"Marlene without Boycie-it’s unthinkable. John Challis was my partner on screen... my beloved friend. R.I.P. darling John. I will miss you every day."

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Other costars and friends of Challis who shared heartwarming messages online included Steven Woodcock, who played Jevon in the show, actress Crissy Rock, and even rapper Ice T.

Besides acting as Boycie on the show from 1981 until the show's end in 2003, Challis acted in "The Green Green Grass," "Benidorm," and also performed on stage in productions of "Richard III" and "A Midsummer's Night Dream."

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Earlier this month, the actor had to cancel his tour due to ill health. Challis was supposed to appear on 30 scheduled dates to talk about his experiences on "Only Fools and Horses."

Recently, he also appeared in a video message in which he urged others to wear a face mask for the COVID-19 pandemic. In the video, he adopted the persona and even called for his wife and showed off his trademark laugh.

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