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Rik Mayall, Comedian and ‘Drop Dead Fred’ Star, Dead at 56

BBC

Rik Mayall, the actor and comedian known for his work on various beloved British television shows, has unexpectedly passed away at the age of 56.

In 1998, Mayall suffered an automotive accident, leaving him in a coma for five days and creating health problems with which he dealt for the rest of his life. While the official cause of death has not been revealed, and TMZ reports the actor wasn’t ill, many have already assumed that it was due to complications from this old injury.

Born in 1956, Mayall got started as a stand-up comic before turning to acting, appearing in the stage production of ‘Shock Treatment’ and playing a bit part in ‘An American Werewolf in London.’ However, his big break came in 1982 with ‘The Young Ones,’ which Mayall created and starred in alongside his comedy partner Adrian Edmonson. The series ran for two seasons and 12 episodes, helping Mayall transform into a household name.

He went on to play various characters in the beloved series ‘Blackadder,’ create the cult hit ‘Filthy Rich and Catflap,’ and star in the political comedy ‘The New Statesman,’ which ran until 1994. He continued working throughout the ’90s, appearing in various television shows and popping up in the occasional movie, with his most noteworthy role being the title character in ‘Drop Dead Fred.’

Mayall leaves behind a wife, three children, and a reputation as one of England’s most beloved entertainers.

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