John Bluthal, famous for his role as Frank Pickle in The Vicar of Dibley, has died at the age of 89.
The actor’s agent confirmed that John passed away on Thursday evening, November 15.
In a statement, John’s agent said:
We’re sad to announce our wonderful client John Bluthal has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
John provided us all with years of laughter and entertainment. We will miss John hugely.
We’re sad to announce our wonderful client John Bluthal has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. John provided us all with years of laughter and entertainment. We will miss John hugely.
— Artists Partnership (@TheAPartnership) November 15, 2018
As well as playing the hapless but lovable Frank in The Vicar of Dibley, John was also known for his roles in The Beatles’ films Help! and A Hard Day’s Night.
He also appeared in a number of Carry On… films, as well as Labyrinth, with David Bowie, and Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element.
John was born in Poland in 1929. He and his family fled to Australia in 1938 in order to escape the growing Nazi regime in Germany. He then made the permanent move to England in 1956.
An actor of stage and screen, John also appeared in a host of landmark British television shows. As well as The Vicar of Dibley, he appeared in Jonathan Creek, ‘Allo Allo, Casualty, Last of the Summer Wine and One Foot in the Grave.
His last major role was as Professor Marcuse in the Coen Brothers’ film Hail! Caesar, alongside Channing Tatum, George Clooney and Ralph Fiennes.
Before his death, John also completed filming a short film, written and directed by his daughter Lisa, called By Any Other Name. The film is, according to IMDb ‘a whimsical take on an old man’s life with Alzheimer’s Disease, and how his daughter copes with his demise’.
Our thoughts are with John’s family and friends at this time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.