The voice of Wallace has been silenced. National treasure Peter Sallis has passed away, aged 96. He was an accomplished actor on stage, in film and on television. In the UK he was synonymous with the long running comedy series Last of the Summer Wine but in an acting career that covered more than 50 years he also performed in an impressive array of genre productions.
Sallis was, of course, the voice of hapless inventor Wallace who would not survive without the ministrations of his faithful hound, Gromit. He was also a radical environmentalist in Doctor Who, ostracised for predicting fatal consequences to climate change. That was when Patrick Troughton’s Doctor first encountered the Ice Warriors. He was supposed to make a return to Doctor Who in Enlightenment, a Fifth Doctor adventure but was replaced by Keith Barron when production was delayed.
Other credits include Curse of the Werewolf, Danger Man, The Persuaders, The Ghosts of Motley Hall, Rumpole of the Bailey, Wind in the Willows, Frankenstein: The True Story, Catweazle, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Charlie Bubbles, and The Mouse on the Moon. He played two generations of the Clegg family. He was Norman Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine and played his father, David in The First of the Summer Wine. He was the longest serving actor in the Wine series, appearing in all 295 episodes.
He also played Watson to Fritz Weaver’s Sherlock Holmes in a stage musical, Baker Street.
His agent confirmed that he died peacefully with his family by his side.