Stuart Nicol/Evening Standard/Getty Images
Oliver Gettell
December 02, 2016 AT 12:48 AM EST

Andrew Sachs, the German-born British actor known for playing the bumbling Spanish waiter Manuel on Fawlty Towers, died Nov. 23 after a four-year battle with dementia. He was 86.

His wife, Melody Sachs (nee Lang), confirmed the news to the Daily Mail.

Sachs starred opposite Fawlty Towers creators John Cleese and Connie Booth in the beloved BBC sitcom, which aired in 1975 and 1979 and chronicled the farcical goings-on at a hotel on the English Riviera. As Manuel, a devoted but dim-witted server hailing from Barcelona, he coined such catch phrases as “Que?” and “I know nothing.”

Responding to the news of Sachs’ death on Twitter, Cleese remembered him as “a very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur.” He added, “I could not have found a better Manuel.”

Born in Berlin in 1930, Sachs moved to England with his family at age 8 to escape the Nazis, settling in London. Following school and a stint with the National Service, he began working in theater, radio, and eventually television. His screen credits included The Saint, The History of Mr. Polly, That Peter Kay Thing, Coronation Street, and Quartet. In 2014, Sachs published a memoir, I Know Nothing: The Autobiography.

Sachs’ survivors include his wife and three children. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Melody Sachs said of her late husband, “One thing about Andrew is that I never once heard him grumble, I never found him once without a smile on his face.”

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