Legendary British entertainer and television personality Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89, it was announced Friday by his manager Ian Wilson.
A statement from Wilson said: “It is with great sadness that the Forsyth family announce that Sir Bruce passed away this afternoon, peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Wilnelia and all his children.”
The popular variety entertainer, who was a mainstay of British television from the 1970s onwards, made his television debut at age 14 singing and dancing on a talent show. He became a household name in the U.K. in the late 1950s after being invited to take over from comedian Tommy Trinder as host of television variety show “Sunday Night at the London Palladium” in 1958.
In the 1970s he proved popular as a gameshow host, fronting the long-running “The Generation Game” for the BBC before moving to rival broadcaster ITV to host another long-running gameshow, “Play Your Card Rights,” in the 1980s. Both saw revivals in the 1990s. He then went on to host “The Price is Right” for ITV from 1995 to 2001. In 2004 he returned to the BBC to front reality hit “Strictly Come Dancing,” which he hosted for 11 seasons until 2014.
His impressive career saw his catchphrase, which would see him shout “nice to see you, to see you…” before pausing for the audience response of “nice!”, passed from generation to generation of British television viewers and he became known by the affectionate nickname Brucie. The veteran entertainer entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2012 for having the longest running career as a male TV presenter for a career then spanning 72 years.
His few acting roles included small roles in the films “Star!” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and an appearance on “Magnum P.I.”
Forsyth was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 for services to entertainment and charity.
Forsyth was known to have been ill for some time. Wilson said Forsyth’s family expressed their thanks to “the many people who have sent cards and letters to Bruce wishing him well over his long illness and know that they will share in part, the great, great loss they feel.”