Peter Sallis, who was the voice of Wallace in the beloved clay animation Wallace And Gromit, has died aged 96.
The actor also starred in the long-running sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine, playing Norman Clegg between 1973 and 2010.
Sallis died peacefully with his family by his side on 2 June, his agents announced.
His role as Wallace, a loveable inventor with a penchant for Wensleydale cheese and a canine companion called Gromit, made his voice famous around the world.
He first became involved with the show after its creator Nick Park wrote to Sallis when he was a student in 1983 – and asked him to voice the clay character.
Sallis agreed, on the condition that £50 was donated to his favourite charity.
The cartoon went on to scoop several Academy Awards – with Sallis speaking of his delight at becoming an unlikely Hollywood star and enjoying success so late on in his career.
Sallis said: “It is pleasing knowing millions are going to see your work and enjoy it.
“To still be involved in a project like this at my age is heart-warming.
“To have a legacy like this is very comforting. I am very lucky to have been involved.”
However, the actor insisted he was pleased that his voice rather than his face had become internationally recognisable, adding: “No one stops me when I speak or when they see me in the street. That’s the way I like it.”
After leaving school, Sallis had gone to follow his father into the world of banking – but when World War Two began, he signed up for the RAF and became a radio instructor.
He caught the acting bug in 1943 after being asked to star in a performance of Hay Fever, and went on to win a scholarship at RADA in 1946.
Sallis’ first TV role came a year later – and during the 1950s and 1960s, he gained minor roles in episodes of Doctor Who, The Avengers and Z Cars.