KEEPING Up Appearances actor Clive Swift has died aged 82.

The actor played Richard Bucket — the downtrodden and long-suffering husband of snob Hyacinth Bucket — in the beloved BBC show.

He graced our screens from 1990 to 1995 alongside Patricia Routledge and also had a role in a Doctor Who Christmas special as Mr Copper.

The Sun reports that his agent confirmed he died “peacefully at home” this morning surrounded by his family.

Clive was married to novelist Margaret Drabble between 1960 and 1975 and had a daughter Rebecca, who sadly died in April 2017.

He was born in Liverpool and later studied English at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he met his wife.

Clive joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960 and had roles in Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, All’s Well That Ends Well, Macbeth and King Lear.

He also played Sir Ector, the adoptive father of King Arthur in John Boorman’s 1981 film Excalibur.

But it was his role as embattled Richard in Keeping Up Appearances where he found his way into the hearts of the nation.


The classically-trained actor starred in more than 40 episodes of the show as social climber Hyacinth’s henpecked husband.

Speaking about his role, he said: “The first thing I decided was if Richard was a really meek and submissive person, in a way there was no conflict.

“Because he’d be just a bit of fluff for Hyacinth. So the first thing I had to do, as far as the writer allowed me, was to fight back — to protest.

“I know I used to lose 98 per cent of the time and there was no conflict really but I had to put up a show or otherwise it’s simply not interesting.”