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Richard Beckinsale

An English actor best known for his role as Lennie Godber in the popular BBC sitcom Porridge. He also played Alan Moore in the British sitcom Rising Damp.

He won a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, turning professional in 1968.

He then moved to Crewe to begin in repertory theatre, like most newly-graduated actors at the time, and then made his television debut in 1969 as a police officer in Coronation Street, in which he had to arrest veteran character Ena Sharples.

Beckinsale acquired his first starring role in 1970 as Geoffrey in the sitcom The Lovers, opposite fellow newcomer Paula Wilcox.

On ITV, he was playing naive medical student Alan Moore in Rising Damp voted ITV's best-ever sitcom in the Britain's Best Sitcom survey of 2004, while also starring in Porridge.

Beckinsale quit Rising Damp in 1977, the same year that Porridge was brought to a natural end after his character of Godber was released from his prison sentence in the final episode. He subsequently starred along side Ronnie Barker in Going Straight, a spin-off of Porridge.

At the beginning of 1979, Beckinsale filmed a movie version of Porridge. It was to be his last completed work.

Beckinsale died of a massive heart attack in his sleep, at his home in Berkshire at the age of 31.

He is the father of the actresses Samantha Beckinsale and Kate Beckinsale.

His daughter Kate, when asked to comment on his death years later said, "It was so sudden. He just went to sleep one night, and didn't wake up again."

In 2001, a documentary was broadcast on ITV in tribute, called The Unforgettable Richard Beckinsale.

As a tribute to Beckinsale, pop star Robbie Williams wrote a song about him and his daughter Samantha titled "Baby Girl Window".

Television roles include.

1970 to 1971 The Lovers Geoffrey Scrimgeor
1974 to 1977 Rising Damp Alan Moore
1974 to 1977 Porridge Lennie Godber
1978 Going Straight Lennie Godber
1979 Bloomers Stan

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