17 Nov 2008

On the Buses star dies aged 92

9:14 am on 17 November 2008

Actor Reg Varney, who starred in the 1970s television comedy On The Buses, has died at the age of 92.

He died following a short illness in a nursing home in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, where he had recently been admitted with a chest infection.

He was best known for his role as driver Stan Butler in the popular ITV show On The Buses, which first broadcast in 1969 and spawned three spin-off movies.

The show followed Butler and conductor Jack Harper, played by Bob Grant, as they dodged work, chased "the birds" and did their best to wind up inspector Cyril "Blakey" Blake, played by Stephen Lewis.

Varney was born in east London and played piano at working men's clubs before serving in the Royal Engineers during World War 2, where was also an army entertainer.

His first television appearances were in the BBC comedy show The Rag Trade in 1961.

Later in his career Varney spent time in Australia and New Zealand, sometimes working as a pianist.