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Peter Sallis passed away aged 96
Peter's agency, Jonathan Altaras Associated confirmed the news in 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."
Director and animator Nick, who cast Peter in the family-favourite movies, posted an emotional tribute on the Aardman Animations website, saying: "I'm so sad, but feel so grateful and privileged to have known and worked with Peter over so many years.
"He was always my first and only choice for Wallace," Nick continued. "I knew him of course from the very popular long running BBC series Last of the Summer Wine."
Praising Peter's humour, Nick added that he “encapsulated the very British art of the droll and understated”.
Peter was much-loved as Wallace in Wallace and Gromit
Creator Nick Park shared an emotional tribute to the late actor Stars we lost in 2017 Thu, June 1, 2017
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"They don't come along very often like Peter Sallis," he concluded. "He was a unique character, on and off screen, and an absolute honour to have known him."
In addition to bringing Wallace to life, the much-loved star also played Norman 'Cleggy' Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine from when it first aired in 1973 to the final episode in 2010.
He made an appearance in a classic episode of Doctor Who in 1967 and 1970s sitcom The Culture Vultures, as well.
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BBC controller of comedy and commissioning Shane Allen also paid tribute to Peter, taking to Twitter to say: "RIP the great Peter Sallis. #CrackingToast."
Vicki Michelle paid tribute to Peter on Twitter
Many fans flooded to social media to remember him
Allo Allo and Emmerdale star Vicki Michelle followed suit, tweeting: "Sad to hear about Peter Sallis. Fabulous actor loved by the nation. Somehow ageless, a lovely man."
Fans have flocked to social media to share their condolences, with one adding: "RIP Peter Sallis. You helped shape my childhood. There's nothing to say but #cheese."
"RIP Peter Sallis," another said. "Loved you in many things. Thank you for W&G and Last of the Summer Wine."
"'Everyone knows the moon's made of cheese,' a third quoted. "Rest in peace Peter Sallis."