Andrew Sachs was a German-born British actor best known for playing Spanish waiter Manuel in the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers.
Andreas Siegfried Sachs (Andrew Sachs) was born in Berlin, Germany, but abandoned his homeland for Britain with his Catholic, half-Austrian mother and Jewish father in 1938, to escape the Nazis. Having settled in north London, Sachs lived in Kilburn for the rest of his life.
Sachs married Melody Lang in 1960, an actor who had appeared in one episode of Fawlty Towers, "Basil the Rat", playing the role of Mrs. Taylor. After tying the knot, Sachs adopted her two sons from a previous marriage, John Sachs and William Sachs, and together they had one daughter, Kate Sachs.
In the late 1950s Sachs was still studying shipping management tat college when he worked on his first rail productions, including Private Dreams And Public Nightmares by Frederick Bradnum, an early experimental programme created by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
He would later make his West End debut in the 1958 production of the Whitehall farce Simple Spymen, and made his screen debut in 1959 in the film The Night We Dropped A Clanger, a classic comedy that follows an RAF officer who plans to fool the Nazis as to whereabouts by using a double. This would lead to appearances in crime/detective television shows for ITC, such as The Saint and Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased).
Sachs is best known by far for playing Manuel, the Spanish waiter in the iconic sitcom Fawlty Towers (1975-1979). He was nominated for a BAFTA award, eventually losing out to his co-star John Cleese. Famously, during the shooting of the well-known episode "The Germans", Sachs came away with second-degree burns due to a fire stunt.
In character as Manuel, Sachs recorded four musical singles, including "Manuel's Good Food Guide" in 1977. In 1980 he featured on This Is Your Life, when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews while in the character of Manuel. In 1981, "Manuel" released a cover version of [p[Joe Dolce]'s UK no. 1 song "Shaddap You Face", "Waiter, there's a Flea in my Soup" on the B side.
Alongside his work on Fawlty Towers, Sachs is also known for a wide array of successful voice work. He has narrated several television and radio documentaries, including all five series of BBC's BAFTA award-winning business television series Troubleshooter, presented by Sir John Harvey-Jones MBE. He has also narrated the audiobooks for C. S. Lewis' Narhia series and Alexander McCall Smith's first only book, Corduroy Mansions. In 2000, he also narrated Peter Kay's spoof documentaries series That Peter Kay Thing.
Sachs has undertaken several roles in productions of Dr Who, including "Skagra" in the webcast/audio version of the Doctor Who story Shada. Sachs appeared on 27 episode of the [c[ITV[/c] soap Coronation Street in 2009.
In 2008 the BBC apologised to Sachs after comedians Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross had made several obscene phone-calls to him on an episode of The Russell Brand Show. These messages, left on his answerphone, had joked about Brand having sex with his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie. In the aftermath of the scandal, Brand and Controller of BBC Radio 2 Lesley Douglas resigned, with Ross suspended. In a 2014 BBC interview, Sachs spoke of how the events still affected him.
Sachs was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012, which consigned him to a wheelchair. He died on 23 November 2016 at the Denville Hall nursing home in Northwood, London. On 2 December 2016, BBC One broadcast the Fawlty Towers episode "Communication Problems" in his memory.
- BAFTA Television Awards 1980 - Best Light Entertainment Performance: Nominee
- United Kingdom
- Monday 7th April 1930
- Wednesday 23rd November 2016 (aged 86)
|2016||Breaking The Bank||Jenkins|
|2013|| Jo Brand's Great Wall Of Comedy
|2013||Run For Your Wife||Waiter|
|2010||Beautiful Dreamers||Ensemble Actor|
|2010||Terry Pratchett's Going Postal||Tolliver Groat|
|2009||The Story Of Slapstick||Self|
|2009||Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened||Self|
|2009||Beyond A Joke||Self|
|2008||We Are Most Amused||Manuel|
|2007||Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Holistic Detective Agency||Professor 'Reg' Chronotis|
|2006||The Ultimate Sitcom||Self|
|2005||The Comedians' Comedian||Self|
|2004|| Britain's Best Sitcom
|1999||Laughter In The House: The Story Of British Sitcom||Self|
|1993||Every Silver Lining||Nat Silver|
|1987||Delve Special - Series 4||Ensemble Actor|
|1985||Delve Special - Series 2||Ensemble Actor|
|1985||There Comes A Time...||Tony James|
|1984||Delve Special - Series 1||Ensemble Actor|
|1982||It's Your Move||Road-sweeper|
|1982||Dead Ernest||Ernest Springer|
|1979|| The Dawson Watch - Series 1
|1979||Fawlty Towers - Series 2||Manuel|
|1978|| Rising Damp - Series 4
|1977||Are You Being Served?||Don Carlos Bernardo|
|1975||Fawlty Towers - Series 1||Manuel|
|1968|| Nearest And Dearest - Series 1
|1968|| Hugh And I - Hugh And I Spy
|1959||The Night We Dropped A Clanger||A. C. 2. Briggs|
Non-comedy TV and film credits might be found here:
Andrew Sachs on IMDb