Fawlty Towers: Basil and Sybil discuss hotel guests
Fawlty Towers was a BBC hit back in the 70s and the classic episodes are still ranked as some of the greatest-ever comedy moments.
Only two seasons were made but the series thrust the likes of John Cleese and Prunella Scales further into the spotlight.
Cleese admitted in 2008 the first script for the show was rejected by the BBC but the tables certainly turned for the cast.
Coming to an end in 1979, it is coming up to 45 years since the iconic series left screens.
Express.co.uk has offered a look inside the lives of the main stars and where they are now.
Basil Fawlty – John Cleese
The cynical hotel owner was described by Cleese as “an absolutely awful human being” who still managed to gain the audience’s affection.
The 83-year-old actor and producer wrote the series with his first wife, Connie Booth, who played Polly Sherman alongside him.
Renowned for his political and religious satire and black comedy, he has been at the centre of much controversy over the years.
In November 2021, Cleese took a stand against cancel culture by blacklisting himself over a Hitler impersonation controversy at the Cambridge Union.
As for his personal life, he has been married four times and has two children.
He had daughter Cynthia with wife Connie, whom he married in 1968, although the pair divorced before the second season of Fawlty Towers aired.
He went on to marry actress Barbara Trentham in 1981 and they had their daughter Camilla in 1984. The pair divorced in 1990.
In 1992, he married American psychotherapist Alyce Faye Eichelberger. They divorced in 2008.
Four years later in August 2012, Cleese married English jewellery designer and former model Jennifer Wade.
He is currently working on a Fawlty Towers reboot with his daughter Camilla.
Sybil Fawlty – Prunella Scales
Energetic and petite, Sybil was known to put her husband Basil in his place and was often seen as a more effective manager.
Actress Prunella Scales, now 90, revealed in 2009 her role of Sybil Fawlty was originally offered to Bridget Turner, who turned down the part.
Alongside her husband Timothy West, she went on to star in Great Canal Journeys from 2014 for ten series.
Sadly her declining health brought her television career to an end in 2020.
After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the mother of actor Samuel West has lived a quiet life.
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Polly Sherman – Connie Booth
As the waitress and general assistant, Polly was the voice of sanity at the hotel.
Actress Connie Booth, now 82, ended her acting career in 1995 following some huge TV and theatre roles.
After five years of study, she qualified as a psychotherapist and registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council.
Although she and Cleese were divorced before the second series of Fawlty Towers was finished, they remained friends.
Booth married author and former New Yorker senior drama critic John Lahr in 2000 and the pair live in north London.
Manuel – Andrew Sachs
The disorganised and confused Spanish waiter was played by Andrew Sachs, born Andreas Siegfried Sachs.
The German-born actor and writer had a lengthy career in acting and voiceover work, taking jobs until he was in his 80s.
In 2009 he starred in Coronation Street and in 2012 he starred in his last major role as Bobby Swanson in the movie Quartet.
In 2008, the BBC apologised to Sachs after it came to light Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross had made several obscene phone calls to him during an episode of The Russell Brand Show.
Then prime minister, Gordon Brown, criticised Ross and Brand’s “inappropriate” actions and Ofcom launched an inquiry.
Sachs was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012 and he was left unable to speak and walk. He died in November 2016 at the age of 86.
Fawlty Towers: 50 Years of Laughs airs on Channel 5 on Saturday at 9.15pm
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