Andrew Sachs as Manuel

Andrew Sachs as Manuel

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs, who played hapless Spanish waiter Manuel in the BBC sitcom, has died aged 86, his family has confirmed.

Sachs, who had been suffering from dementia for four years, died on 23 November and was buried on Thursday.

On his role of Manuel, the actor had told the BBC in 2014: “It was just a part I was playing and people seemed to laugh.”

His Fawlty Towers co-star John Cleese paid tribute to him as “a delight”.

He was born Andreas Siegfried Sachs on 7 April 1930 in Berlin. His insurance broker father was Jewish while his mother, who worked as a librarian, was a Catholic of part-Austrian ancestry.

Nazism was already on the rise in Germany. His father was arrested by the authorities in 1938, but later released after intervention by a friend in the police.

The incident was enough to persuade the family to flee Germany, and they moved to London.

They lived in several parts of north London, once acting as caretakers in the house of the noted anthropologist, Bronislaw Malinowski.