"It's totally my fault," the BBC quoted Briers as saying once of his lung illness. "So, I get very breathless, which is a pain in the backside. Trying to get upstairs... Oh, God, it's ridiculous. Of course, when you're bloody nearly 80, it's depressing, because you've had it anyway."
"Richard was a wonderful man, a consummate professional and an absolute joy to work alongside," his agent, Christopher Farrar, told the British broadcaster Monday, a day after Briers died. "Following his recent discussion of his battle with emphysema, I know he was incredibly touched by the strength of support expressed by friends and the public.
He has a unique and special place in the hearts of so many. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his family at this sad time."
Briers was best known for his work on TV's "The Good Life," "Marriage Lines," "Ever Decreasing Circles," "Monarch of the Glen," "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood." His film credits include "Bottoms Up," "Murder She Said," "The Girl on the Boat," "A Matter of Who," "The VIPs," "Fathom," "Henry V," "Peter's Friends," "A Chorus Of Disapproval," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein."
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