'Wallace and Gromit' actor Peter Sallis dies at 96

'Wallace and Gromit' actor Peter Sallis dies at 96

This handout image provided by the National Trust on May 3, 2012 shows a screen shot taken from the forthcoming new mini-animation 'A Jubilee Bunt-a-thon.'

Peter Sallis died Friday at the age of 96, his agents announced.

The actor was best known as the voice of Wallace in the “

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"It is with sadness that we announce that our client Peter Sallis died peacefully, with his family by his side, at Denville Hall on Friday, June 2," his agents, Jonathan Altaras Associates, said.

Sallis was famous in the U.K. for his role as Norman “Cleggy” Clegg in the long-running sitcom “Last of the Summer Wine” from its debut episode in 1973 until the series ended in 2010. He was the only actor to appear in all 295 episodes of the show.

Already an accomplished stage performer by the time he accepted the “Last of the Summer Wine” gig, Sallis didn’t find international fame until later in life thanks to his role as Wallace in the Oscar-winning “Wallace and Gromit” franchise.

The actor often spoke about how happy he was to have had such success late in life.

“It’s pleasing knowing millions are going to see your work and enjoy it ... to have a legacy like this is very comforting. I am lucky to have been involved.”

Sallis was born in Twickenham in southwest London. His father was a bank manager and his mother a housewife. It was his grandmother who ran a theatrical boarding house in Northampton who inspired him to become an actor.

"Acting is a matter of instinct," he said on an episode of the BBC radio series "Desert Island Discs." "As soon as I was on the stage I just felt so at home."