Keeping Up Appearances star Clive Swift has died at the age of 82 after a short illness. In a career spanning 50 years, Clive appeared in film, theatre and television roles, including 1981’s Excalibur, Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy and sitcom The Old Guys in the early 2000s. However, the actor was best known for Keeping Up Appearances, playing the long-suffering husband Richard Bucket to Patricia Routledge’s Hyacinth in the beloved 90s sitcom. A statement from his agent confirmed: ‘After a short illness, Clive died peacefully at home this morning surrounded by his family.’
Born in Liverpool, the actor was a star of stage and screen, becoming a long-time member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. However, it was his role in Keeping Up Appearances that turned him into a recognised face. Speaking about his time on the role, he previously stated: ‘That show is the only proper money I’ve earned, because it was a global success and it’s given me a good pension that I might never have had.’
Over the course of his career, he remained largely in roles on television, appearing in Doctor Who twice – once in 1985’s Revelation of the Daleks, before appearing alongside Kylie Minogue in the 2007 Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned. However, in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, he revealed that even 12 years after the show had ended, he was still referred to as Richard. ‘Sometimes [I get called that],’ he told the mag. ‘I tell them to fuck off.’
Clive’s last credited role was in a 2017 episode of long-running favourite, Midsomer Murders. He is survived by his two sons – Joe Swift, a presenter on Gardener’s World, and Adam Swift, who pursued work as a sociologist and political philosopher. The star also had four grandchildren: Danny, Lillie, Stanley and Connie. Clive also had one daughter, Rebecca, who passed away in 2017.