George Cole dies at 90

Minder star also made some famous film appearances.

by Jennie Kermode

George Cole in The Vampire Lovers
George Cole in The Vampire Lovers

With his flashy cars, his fat cigars and his large VATs, Minder con man Arthur Daley became one of the most popular characters on British TV. Now, 21 years after the series came to an end. the man who played him, George Cole, has died.

Though best known for his television work, which also included roles in A Man Of Our Times, Blott On The Landscape and The Bounder, Cole also enjoyed a lengthy film career, appearing in the likes of Cleopatra, May Reilly and The Vampire Lovers. he was well known for his work in the popular St Trinians films of the Fifties and Sixties. Last year he joined the cast of Spencer Hawken's mystery thriller Road Rage and told friends how much he was looking forward to it.

Given up for adoption as a baby, Cole subsequently lost his adoptive father but had the good fortune, along with his mother, to be taken in by Alastair Sim, who recognised his acting talent and introduced him to the industry. He would later be made an OBE in recognition of his acting work. In 2013 he published his autobiography, The World Was My Lobster.

Cole died in hospital, at the age of 90, in the company of his loved ones. He is survived by his wife Penny Morrell and by two children.

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