Last week, the world was saddened by the passing of Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs. Sachs died on 23rd of November from vascular dementia, after being diagnosed four years ago.
Sachs was a comic actor most famous for his role as Manuel, the often confused Spanish waiter with his trademark “que?”, in the 70’s television show Fawlty Towers.
Despite the show only running for a total of 12 episodes, Fawlty Towers is remembered as one of the most famous British television shows in history. In 2000, it was ranked number one in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes by the British Film Institute.
Sachs passed away in a private care home in West London, at the age of 86. He is survived by wife Melody Lang, three children and four grandchildren.
Melody spoke about her husband’s 2012 diagnosis of vascular dementia. “It wasn’t all doom and gloom,” she told the Daily Mail despite him being bound to a wheelchair and unable to speak. “He still worked for two years. We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment. He had dementia for four years and we didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going,” she said.
“It didn’t get really bad until quite near the end. I nursed Andrew, I was there for every moment of it. Dementia is the most awful illness. It sneaks in in the night, when you least expect it. It took a long time for Andy’s brain to go. Even about a month before he died, he was sitting in the garden and chatting away.”
His son, John Sachs, said the “incredible” nursing staff at the West London care home that cared for his father had tried to stimulate his father by playing him footage of the BBC comedy, but got little results.
“One of the things they would do to help him would be to put on videos. He sadly towards the end didn’t understand what they were putting on. They hoped it would stimulate him, but it didn’t work. That was a few months ago,” he told the Telegraph.
Sach’s wife’s final words about her life with the actor was clear, and probably something many other can relate to, “don’t feel sorry for me because I had the best life with him. I had the best husband and we really loved each other … We were married for 57 years, we loved each other very deeply and it was a pleasure looking after him. I miss him terribly.”