Warren Clarke

Warren Clarke, the Oldham-born former Manchester Evening News copy boy who went on to become a well-known actor, has died aged 67 after a short illness, his agent has confirmed.

Clarke, best known for TV role in Dalziel And Pascoe, starred in the controversial 1971 film A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick as well as appearing in Coronation Street in the late 1960s.

He recently appeared in the BBC One dramas Call the Midwife and Down to Earth, about a family moving to rural Devon and is due to appear in a remake of Poldark in what was the last role before his death.

His death was announced by the agency which handled his career, Independent Talent Group.

A statement issued on behalf of his agent said: “The actor Warren Clarke died peacefully in his sleep on November 12 2014, after a short illness.

“He will be greatly missed by his family and loved ones. At this time we ask that you respect their privacy in their time of grief.”

According to his profile on the BBC, Clarke once admitted that, despite having to put up with less than complimentary comments about his looks, he received his fair share of saucy letters from admiring women. One even sent a picture of herself in the nude.

And he claimed to be nothing like his boozy on-screen character Dalziel. “The man’s a chauvinist pig whose idea of a good night out is swilling back ten pints in the pub with his supper waiting for him and the little woman tucked up in bed with a welcoming smile,” he told The Mirror newspaper in 1997.

“I like going to the pub but my wife goes with me, too. Blokes like Dalziel just see women as sex objects.”

He’s one of a number of high-profile actors who submitted themselves for questioning on comedy chat show The Kumars at No.42.

Clarke leaves behind wife Michele and two children.