Andrew Sachs, who rose to fame in Fawlty Towers, has passed away at the age of 86 after a four year battle with dementia. The actor, best known for playing hapless waiter Manuel in the John Cleese sitcom, died in a care home last week and was buried on Thursday, his heartbroken wife has revealed.
Melody Sachs, who cared for Andrew in his final years, told the Daily Mail that her husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012. The condition left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak. "It wasn't all doom and gloom," she said. "He still worked for two years. We were happy, we were always laughing, we nerve had a dull month.
"He had dementia for four years and we didn't really notice it at first until the memory started going. It didn't get really bad until quite near the end. I nursed Andrew, I was there for every moment of it."
She continued: "Dementia is the most awful illness. It sneaks in in the night, when you least expect it. It took a long time for Andy's brain to go. Even about a month before he died, he was sitting in the garden and chatting away.
"Don't feel sorry for me because I had the best life with him. I had the best husband and we really loved each other … We were married for 57 years, we loved each other very deeply and it was a pleasure looking after him. I miss him terribly."
John Cleese has led the public tributes to Andrew, writing on Twitter: "Just heard about Andy Sachs. Very sad… I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall, but had no idea that his life was in danger.
"A very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur. I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973. I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired."