'Drop Dead Fred' star Rik Mayall dies at 56
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
He left a lasting impression as the rubbery-faced, obnoxious poet Rick on the British sitcom "The Young Ones" that first played in the U.S. on MTV. He would play the lead role as the equally disruptive imaginary friend in "Drop Dead Fred." Quiet and gentlemanly in real life, British comedian and actor Rik Mayall has died aged 56.
Gentlemanly and reserved in real life, comedian Rik Mayall was the antithesis of the anarchic characters he usually played.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mayall had been a pioneer of the 1980s alternative comedy scene. He had also lent his talents to other British sitcoms as "Blackadder" and "The New Statesman."
"It is a terrible shock. All we know at this stage is that Rik died at home," Mayall's manager Roger Davidson said. "He touched many lives, and always for the better."
His longtime costar and writing partner Adrian Edmonston was devastated upon hearing the news. "There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing.
"They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him."
Mayall, married with three children, was left seriously ill after a quad bike accident in 1998 which left him in a coma for several days.
Speaking about his 1998 quad bike accident, Mayall said doctors had kept him alive on a life-support machine for five days and were about to turn it off when he began to show signs of life.
He used to mark the occasion by exchanging presents with his wife and children and said the near-death experience changed his life.
"The main difference between now and before my accident is I'm just very glad to be alive," he said.
"Other people get moody in their 40s and 50s - men get the male menopause. I missed the whole thing. I was just really happy."
Mayall had been stricken with epilepsy following the incident, for which he had to take daily medication. He had spoken in the past of suffering a fit after failing to take the pills.
His wife, Barbara Robbin, believed to have been the person to have discovered him dead at the home they shared, said she did not know how he had died.
Speaking outside the couple's home in Barnes, south-west London, Robbin said: "We don't know yet what happened. He had a strong heart, so I don't think it was a heart attack. But we just don't know until the coroner's report."
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