The Last of the Summer Wine actor and voice star of Wallace and Gromit's agent shared the tragic news, claiming he "died peacefully" with his family by his side.
Jonathan Altaras Associates released a statement, which read: "It is with sadness that we announce that our client Peter Sallis died peacefully, with his family by his side, at Denville Hall on Friday, June 2."
Tributes for Sallis immediately started to pour in online, with one fan posting: “RIP Peter Sallis. Such a good actor & perfect to voice Wallace. Condolences to Gromit.”
“RIP Peter Sallis, the childhood of a lot of kids, you did Yorkshire proud,” a second shared.
A third wrote: “Peter Sallis has died 🙁 cheese gromit,” alongside a broken hearted emoji.
Peter Sallis has died at the age of 96
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Sallis was an English actor and was well known for his work on British television, with him gaining worldwide fame as the voice of Wallace in the Academy Award-honoured Wallace and Gromit films.
The much-loved star also played Norman ‘Cleggy’ Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine from its 1973 inception until its final offering in 2010, making him the only actor to appear in all 295 episodes. The original trio also consisted of Bill Owen – who played Compo Simmonite – and Michael Bates, as Cyril Blamire.
Sallis ended up retiring from acting, and had not appeared or voiced on film or television from 2010 until his death.
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He became a notable character actor on the London stage in the 1950s and 1960s, with his credits including the first West End production of Cabaret opposite Judi Dench in 1968.
He also appeared in many British films of the 1960s and 1970s including Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Doctor in Love, The Curse of the Werewolf, The V.I.P.s, Charlie Bubbles, Scream and Scream Again, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Wuthering Heights, The Incredible Sarah and Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?
Actor starred on Last of the Summer Wine from 1973 to 2010
Sallis received an OBE ten years ago for services to drama and he joked about his character Wallace’s reaction to getting such an honour when receiving the accolade.
He said: ”Wallace's reaction to getting an OBE would be to get another helping of cheese. I'll be going out to get something to eat, but no, I won't be having cheese."
The actor previously said of playing the much-loved part: "It is pleasing knowing millions are going to see your work and enjoy it. To still be involved in a project like this at my age is heart-warming.
"To have a legacy like this is very comforting. I am very lucky to have been involved."
Sallis with Last of the Summer Wine co-stars Bill Owen and Michael Bates
Actor with his wife Elaine
Sallis was born on February 1, 1921 in Twickenham, Middlesex and attended Minchenden Grammar School in Southgate, North London before he went to work in a bank on shipping transactions.
After the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the RAF, but failed to get into aircrew because he had a serum albumin disorder and was told he might black out at high altitudes. He became a wireless mechanic instead and went on to teach radio procedures at RAF Cranwell.
Sallis later started working as an amateur actor during his four years with the RAF when one of his students offered him the lead in an amateur production. His success in the role caused him to resolve to becoming an actor after the war, and so he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, making his first professional appearance on the London stage in 1946.
Sallis married Elaine Usher at St John's Wood Church in London on February 9 1957, but she sadly passed away last year. Their son, Timothy Crispian Sallis, was born in 1959.