• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
George Cole

United News/Popperfoto/Getty Images

George Cole, best known for his role of Arthur Daley in the series Minder, has died. He was 90.

Agent Derek Webster said Cole passed away in the hospital after coming down with an illness. He was surrounded by his family at the time. Webster said in a statement obtained by E! News, "It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad death of one of our most loved and respected actors. George Cole passed away yesterday at the Royal Berkshire Hospital after a short illness. His wife Penny and his son Toby were with him at his bedside."

Adopted when he was just 10 days old, Cole grew up in London with comedy star Alastair Sim and wife Naomi. When he entered his teenage years, Cole appeared alongside his father in some of his films until he became a star in his own right, nabbing the role of Daley in 1974. He played the role until the show's finale in 1994.

Cole's career spanned more than 70 years and included appearances in four of the St Trinian movies. He also starred opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burtonin Cleopatra.

His Minder co-star Dennis Waterman opened up to the BBC about his longtime pal, calling him a "comic genius."

"He was one of those characters you never thought you never thought you are going to be without, both as an actor and a character," he added. "He was a great guy to work with and a real genuine gentleman."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.