Henson’s family said in a statement, “Nicky Henson has died after a long disagreement with cancer.”
Best known for playing Mr Johnson in “The Psychiatrist” episode of classic BBC comedy Fawlty Towers, he starred alongside Goldie Hawn and Peter Sellers in Roy Boulting’s 1970 rom-com There’s a Girl in My Soup.
He also appeared in a number of episodes of ITV period drama Downton Abbey as well as supporting roles in Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake and George Clooney’s Syriana and BBC soap EastEnders.
Last year, he told PA news agency that he was first diagnosed with cancer on Christmas Day nearly 20 years ago. “For the last 18 years, I’ve regarded myself as being in extra time, which I never expected to have, so I’m very thankful for it. I got my first cancer on Christmas day 18 years ago and didn’t think I was going to survive, after I was told I had a large tumour and would have to be operated on. To get rid of the first tumour, I had to have half my colon and a third of my stomach removed. I was fine, but a routine scan a few years later revealed I had another tumour. I was prescribed a drug, Gleevac, for six months, to reduce it to an operable size. During that time, I got my dream part as Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night at the RSC, but the physical strain of the part and the side-effects of the drug meant I had to give it up. I knew then I’d never act on stage again, which broke my heart.”