'Vicar of Dibley' star Gary Waldhorn has died aged 78

Gary Waldhorn in The Vicar of Dibley
Gary Waldhorn as Councillor David Horton in 'Vicar of Dibley'. (Image credit: BBC)

Actor Gary Waldhorn, best known for playing grumpy Councillor David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley between 1994 to 2007, has sadly passed away. 

In the hugely popular series, Gary's character David did everything in his power to thwart the vicar before eventually falling for her. David was also known for being less than impressed when his charming but dimwitted son Hugo declared his love for the equally loveable and daft verger, Alice.

The news of Gary's death was announced by his son, Josh, who said in a statement: "Classically trained, it was the theatre where he truly flourished and he leaves a legacy of entertainment that saw him frequent the boards of Broadway, the West End, and our living rooms on the telly!

"He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley, and his son Josh. We will all miss him terribly."

A statement from BBC Comedy added: "Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nation's most treasured BBC shows, and of course as Councillor David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Gary's most recent appearance in Vicar of Dibley was in the 2020 Christmas special, The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown, alongside star Dawn French, who plays Rev Geraldine Granger, and James Fleet, who plays his on-screen son Hugo.

Gary Waldhorn in The Vicar of Dibley

Gary Waldhorn with 'Vicar of Dibley' co-star Dawn French.   (Image credit: BBC)

As well as becoming a much-loved part of the Vicar of Dibley cast Gary also starred as Richard Beamish in All at No 20, and Lionel Bainbridge in Brush Strokes. He also had roles in Hotel Babylon and the comedy sketch show French And Saunders.

The actor was also no stranger to treading the boards. The accomplished Shakespearean actor performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company including in Much Ado About Nothing.

He also played the title role in Henry IV at the Old Vic, Good for the RSC in 1981, which went to Broadway the following year, and Black Comedy alongside David Tennant in the West End in 1998.

Alongside his hugely successful acting career on stage and screen, the star also provided voiceovers in adverts for Green Flag, Kwik Fit, Branston, and Marmite.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.