British star Bannister dies

The comedy star, best known for his role in hit 1970s sitcom Are You Being Served?, suffered a heart attack on Thursday (14Apr11).

Bannister studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, before appearing in a number of U.K. TV shows, including The Dustbinmen, The Avengers and Last of the Summer Wine.

He was also a regular in the theatre, performing in Shakespeare plays and traditional pantomime shows.

But Bannister’s most notable role was playing ladies’ man Mr. Lucas from 1972 to 1979 in Are You Being Served?, a sitcom set in a fictional London department store.

Are You Being Served? actor Frank Thornton has paid tribute to his co-star, insisting he will treasure “many, many happy memories” of Bannister.

Thornton says, “He was a very good friend over a long time. We often met with him and his wife – he was recently at my 90th birthday celebrations in January and that was the last time we saw him. We shall miss him sorely.”

Bannister is survived by his second wife, Pamela, and brother, John.