Gary Waldhorn—Dawn French leads tributes to late Vicar of Dibley co-star after his passing

Gary Waldhorn—Dawn French has led the tributes for her late co-star who starred as David Horton in the beloved series the Vicar of Dibley

Dawn French leads tributes Vicar of Dibley
(Image credit: Comic Relief / Contributor / Getty Images)

Gary Waldhorn, who starred as David Horton in the beloved television series The Vicar of Dibley, has passed away. His co-star Dawn French has paid tribute to the late actor.

In a statement via PA News Agency, Josh Waldhorn, Gary's son, announced that his father had passed away on Monday, January 10 at the age of 78.

"My beloved father, Gary Waldhorn peacefully passed away at 6.45 am on January 10, 2022," said Josh. "Classically trained, it was the theatre where he truly flourished and he leaves a legacy of entertainment that saw him frequent the boards of Broadway, the West End, and our living rooms on the telly! He leaves behind his two grandsons, Cooper and Bayley, and his son Josh. We will all miss him terribly."

Dawn French who starred in the Vicar of Dibley as Reverend Geraldine Granger led the tributes on social media. The star who worked alongside Gary on the show from the years 1997 to 2007, posted an emoji of a broken heart with a headshot of the actor. 

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Gary Waldhorn starred in 25 episodes of the beloved series and played the grumpy yet loveable conservative councilor in Dibley. Although his character began as the vicar's primary nemesis in the village, he was eventually won over by the reverend and even ended up proposing marriage to her at one point in the final series.

A statement from BBC Comedy remembered Gary's work on numerous shows including All at No 20 and Brush Strokes."Gary was an incredibly talented actor who is fondly remembered by us for his numerous appearances on some of the nation's most treasured BBC shows, and of course as Councillor David Horton in The Vicar of Dibley." The BBC added, "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

James Fleet, who played Gary's on-screen son, Hugo Horton, also paid homage to the late star. The actor posted an image of Gary in character as the grumpy Councillor David Horton with his affectionate nickname, 'Gazza,' as a caption. 

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The Vicar of Dibley is still one of the best Netflix shows starring people over 50, but sadly, Dawn French and James Fleet are the only surviving main cast members from the series.

Roger Lloyd Pack who was best known for playing Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, and Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2014 at the age of 69.

Vicar of Dibley

(Image credit: Comic Relief / Contributor / Getty)

Liz Smith who played Leticia Cropley, an elderly member of the Dibley village who was best known for her bizarre baking creations, passed away in 2016 at age 95.

Emma Chambers, who played Geraldine's best friend Alice Horton (née Tinker) died in 2018. The star had a heart attack and died suddenly at the age of just 53. Her character Alice was later written out of the show when it was revealed that the eccentric character had died of cancer.

John Bluthal who played Frank Pickle also died in 2018 at the age of 89. Trevor Peacock who played Jim Trott passed away in 2021 at the age of 89 as well.

Fans have expressed their sadness that there are just two remaining members of the original cast left. "Sad to think that only two of the main actors in Vicar of Dibley are still with us now… R.I.P. Gary Waldhorn x" said one fan.

"With the death of Gary Waldhorn (David Horton) that only leaves the lovely Hugo & Geraldine as the only surviving members of the Dibley Parish Council & I'm crying a little bit!" said another.

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.