Catherine Zeta-Jones has led tributes to The Darling Buds of May actor Moray Watson, who has died at the age of 88.
The actor’s family confirmed he died in London’s Hillingdon Hospital on Tuesday after a short illness.
Zeta-Jones, who co-starred with Watson in the 1990s ITV drama, described him as a “true gentleman”.
“Such sad news that the wonderful Moray has passed away. We shall all miss him. He was and is a national treasure,” she said.
Viewers saw Watson appear as local retired army officer the Brigadier in The Darling Buds of May, which ran from 1991 to 1993.
Broadcaster Gyles Brandreth said: “People loved him because, as a person, he was very witty, very droll. He had a fantastic sense of humour, and he would bring out these wonderfully amusing anecdotes.
“He was also extremely kind to people, and he was in every sense a gentleman. He really was a safe pair of hands, and a calming influence to have on stage and on set.”
Watson’s acting credits include appearing alongside Cary Grant in the The Grass Is Greener and a role in the 1960s soap Compact.
He also starred in two episodes of Doctor Who in the same decade and played Mr Bennet in a 1980 version of Pride and Prejudice.
Watson is survived by his son Robin, daughter Emma, and four grandchildren. His wife, American-born actress Pam Marmont, died in 1999.
A private funeral service will follow, his family said, with a public memorial service to be confirmed at a later date.