Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Geoffrey Palmer: Veteran screen actor famed for his world-weary characters

Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Geoffrey Palmer was known for roles in sitcoms including Butterflies and As Time Goes By, as well as his enduring kindness and famously hangdog expression.

The actor, who has died aged 93, worked across film, TV and radio during a six-decade career that saw him appear in British franchises such as Doctor Who and James Bond.

Born in London on June 4 1927, Palmer attended Highgate School in north London before serving in the Royal Marines between 1946 and 1948.

Geoffrey Palmer death
Geoffrey Palmer with his wife Sally (Peter Jordan/PA)

He launched his acting career with roles in ITV’s The Army Game, Ken Loach’s Cathy Come Home and The Avengers.

Palmer dabbled in theatre and was directed by Laurence Olivier in JB Priestley’s Eden End. He reportedly found the play so boring it put him off a stage career for good.

He turned to TV and found critical acclaim with a role in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin and Butterflies, playing world-weary characters.

From 1992 he starred alongside Dame Judi Dench in the sitcom As Time Goes By, which followed former lovers who rekindled their relationship after more than three decades.

Geoffrey Palmer death
Alison Steadman, Geoffrey Palmer and Roger Lloyd Pack in rehearsal at the Royal Court Theatre for Alan Bennett’s play Kafka’s Dick (PA)

In 1997 he twice again shared the screen with Dame Judi – in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, playing Admiral Roebuck, and in Mrs Brown, about Queen Victoria’s relationship with her servant John Brown.

His film appearances included A Fish Called Wanda, The Madness of King George and Clockwise, and he played Dr Price in the Fawlty Towers episode The Kipper and the Corpse.

Palmer’s hangdog demeanour was integral to many of his best-known roles, although it did not reflect his true personality.

He once said: “I’m not grumpy. I just look this way.”

Geoffrey Palmer death
Geoffrey Palmer with wife Sally (left) and daughter Harriet after becoming an OBE (Johnny Green/PA)

A largely private man, Palmer was a keen fly fisherman and once appeared in a DVD series titled The Compleat Angler, in which he retraced Izaak Walton’s 17th century book of the same name.

In 2011 he joined the campaign to try to halt plans for the HS2 railway line, the proposed route running close to his home in Buckinghamshire.

In an interview with the BBC he described it as a “vanity project”.

His career also took in a number of memorable adverts.

He introduced the British audience to the slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik” in a series of adverts for Audi cars, and encouraged them to “slam in the lamb” for the Meat and Livestock Commission.

He married Sally Green in 1963 and the couple share two children including the director Charles Palmer.

He was made an OBE for services to drama in the 2004 New Year’s Honours List.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]