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Hi-de-Hi! star Paul Shane dead at 72

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May 16, 2013 | 4:39pm EDT

Beloved British actor Paul Shane has died, aged 72. The Hi-de-Hi! star passed away at a hospice in Rotherham, England on Thursday (16May13) after a short illness. A former miner, Shane became a club singer and comic after suffering an accident at a colliery in the late 1960s. His variety act career snowballed and led to appearances on TV in Britain. As Frank Roper on Coronation Street, he impressed comedy writer Jimmy Perry, who offered him the part of Ted Bovis in his new holiday-camp sitcom Hi-de-Hi!. The hit BBC series ran from 1980 until 1988, and when it ended Perry and his co-writer David Croft invited Shane to join the cast of their next hit, You Rang, M'Lord? The actor/singer also appeared in TV shows Oh, Doctor Beeching!, Holby City, Doctors, A Touch of Frost and Emmerdale. Fellow British comedian Ricky Gervais was one of the first celebrities to pay tribute to Shane as news of his death broke on Thursday. Sharing a Twitter.com photo of himself pulling a silly face while in a bathtub, he writes, "RIP Paul Shane. Old school Britcom hero. This one's for you mate..."

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