To the Manor Born star Peter Bowles has died at the age of 85.


The actor was best known for his role as businessman Richard DeVere in the BBC sitcom, which aired from 1979 to 1981.

Bowles’ death was confirmed by his agent earlier today (Thursday, 17th March), who wrote in a statement: “The actor Peter Bowles has sadly passed away at the age of 85 from cancer.

“Starting his career at the Old Vic Theatre in 1956, he starred in 45 theatrical productions ending at the age of 81 in The Exorcist at the Phoenix Theatre."

It continued: “He worked consistently on stage and screen, becoming a household name on TV as the archetypal English gent in To the Manor Born, Only When I Laugh, The Bounder and Lytton’s Diary, which he devised himself.

“He leaves his wife of over 60 years, Sue, and their three children Guy, Adam and Sasha.”

Bowles played villains in several TV series during his acting career, including The Avengers, Danger Man and The Saint.

Peter Bowles plays the Duke of Wellington in Victoria
Peter Bowles in ITV's Victoria ITV

But it was his role as self-made businessman Richard DeVere in To the Manor Born that he remains best known for.

He starred in the show alongside Dame Penelope Keith, with whom he reunited in a regional tour of Sheridan’s The Rivals, directed by Sir Peter Hall, in 2010.

Bowles was also known for his appearances in shows including Only When I Laugh, Lytton’s Diary, The Bounder and Perfect Scoundrels.

More recently, Bowles starred in BBC TV series Murder in 2016, and portrayed the Duke of Wellington in ITV period drama Victoria between 2016 and 2019.


While he was best know for his work in TV, Bowles also starred in many films including 1970’s Eyewitness, 1995’s The Steal, 2005’s Colour Me Kubrick, and 2008’s The Bank Job.