On The Buses actor Reg Varney dies

On The Buses. Image shows from L to R: Stan Butler (Reg Varney), Inspector Blake (Stephen Lewis), Jack Harper (Bob Grant). Copyright: London Weekend Television.

On The Buses

Comedy following workshy bus driver Stan and his family; his conductor, Jack; and their depot boss, Inspector Blake


Richard Wells

  • Monday 17th November 2008, 12:03am [Edited]
  • Northamptonshire, England
  • 1,016 posts

On The Buses actor Reg Varney died today, his daughter said.

The actor died following a short illness in a nursing home in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, at the age of 92.

His daughter, Jeanne Marley, 59, said he died "peacefully" just before 2pm.

Varney, who played main character Stan Butler in the 1970s sitcom, was born in London's East End but had lived in Devon for the past 20 years.

After leaving school he took various menial jobs before becoming an actor after showing a flair for performance in working men's clubs.

During the Second World War he joined the Royal Electrical Engineers but carried on being an entertainer in various music halls.

He had a number of roles in different TV shows before achieving fame in his role in On The Buses, which began in 1969 and ran for seven series.

Afterwards Varney took on a number of film roles although it was On The Buses that he continued to be most recognised for.

In later years he went abroad on tour with a cabaret show.

Mrs Marley said he had only recently been admitted to the nursing home after he had begun suffering from a chest infection.

She said: "He's always been very young for his age, when he was in On The Buses he was playing a 35-year-old, but he was actually 50."

Varney, who had lived alone since his wife Lilian died in 2002, is survived by his daughter, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

His funeral has yet to be arranged.


Edited by Aaron.



  • Monday 17th November 2008, 1:03am [Edited]
  • England
  • 27 posts

He was a good age, and left us with some classic comedy. Let's hope ITV do the right thing and celebrate his life with a proper tribute.

Edited by Aaron.



  • Monday 17th November 2008, 1:47am
  • Near my beloved Black Country in Wolverhampton, England
  • 13,416 posts

RIP Reg.

And thanks for everything.



  • Monday 17th November 2008, 1:50am [Edited]
  • Blackwood, Wales
  • 5,335 posts
Quote: gashparty @ November 16 2008, 8:03 PM GMT

Let's hope ITV do the right thing and celebrate his life with a proper tribute.

Edited by Aaron.

By getting Ant and Dec to reinterpret On the Buses in the same way they bolloxed (sorry, reinterpreted) The Likely Lads?

Poor Reg, he was one of those classic 'faces' of comedy, like Les Dawson and Frankie Howard. But he had a long life and featured in some good shows.



  • Monday 17th November 2008, 1:52am [Edited]
  • England
  • 27 posts

Thats why I said 'proper' tribute. Of course, the live to the nation public hanging of Ant and Dec as a bonus feature, would be wonderful.

Edited by Aaron.



  • Monday 17th November 2008, 2:06am
  • Blackwood, Wales
  • 5,335 posts

Laughing out loud



  • Monday 17th November 2008, 2:15am
  • Merseyside, England
  • 3,395 posts


I always suspected he was a lot older than his character. He must've been 53 when it started, and at least 60, when it finished.

AvatarBCG Supporter


  • Monday 17th November 2008, 2:33am
  • Surreyish., England
  • 32,700 posts

The first thing of his I remember was when I was young (!) - the Valiant Varneys. It was before On the Buses.

It was a kids programme and he'd play his ancestors - a different one from a different period in history each week. I used to love it.



  • Monday 17th November 2008, 2:57am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,940 posts

R.I.P. indeed. :(


Jack Massey

  • Monday 17th November 2008, 3:14am [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,965 posts

A true comedy legend. Good in The Rag Trade, but absolutely superb in the true classic which is On the Buses. Had a great innings for a great man, RIP Reg and thankyou for so many laughs as your performance as Stan Butler. I'm putting an episode on now in your memory.


Ian G

  • Monday 17th November 2008, 4:34am
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts

This is very sad news.




  • Monday 17th November 2008, 5:08am
  • London, England
  • 9,490 posts

He has reached the ultimate terminus, and will forever be remembered for being the first person in Britain to use a cashpoint.



  • Monday 17th November 2008, 3:05pm
  • Fairyland, England
  • 2,635 posts

I used to watch it with my Dad - lovely memories. Are any of the men still alive? Blakey turned up in Last of the Summer Wine didn't he?


Matthew Stott

  • Monday 17th November 2008, 3:06pm
  • Yemen
  • 19,296 posts

I though it was the other one. Blakey? Is he still going?


Mike Dan-Carter

  • Monday 17th November 2008, 3:10pm
  • England
  • 546 posts


No disrespect by I thought RV died years ago.