Actor was best known for his lead role as James Onedin in the BBC series The Onedin Line and the Carry On series.

Actor Peter Gilmore has died, aged 81, following a long illness.

Gilmore’s agent, Primie Carey of Roger Carey Associates, commented: “On behalf of his wife Anne and Peter’s family I would like to thank those who have sent their kind thoughts and condolences and would request their privacy is respected at this sad time.”

Born in Leipzig in Germany in 1931, Gilmore came to the UK at the age of six and was raised in Yorkshire. After leaving school at the age of 14, he got his first major part in 1958 as Sir Waldo of Ivanhoe in the TV series Ivanhoe, before becoming a musical stage star in West End shows including Lock Up Your Daughters, Follow That Girl and The Beggar’s Opera before moving into television and film.

Best known for the lead role in the BBC series The Onedin Line created by Cyril Abraham, on air from 1971 to 1980, Gilmore also starred in the Carry On series as well as Doctor WhoThe Persuaders!, Ruth Rendell Mysteries and Heartbeat.

Actress Jessica Benton, who also starred in every episode of The Onedin Line, said: “The Onedin Line was a very happy long-running series to be involved in and that was all credit to Peter because he made it so. We all became very close friends over the years and had a lot of fun. Peter was a gentle man and a gentleman and we sorely miss him.”

He is survived by his wife, the actress Anne Stallybrass, and a son, Jason, from his first marriage.