Richard David Briers (14 January 1934 – 17 February 2013) was an English actor. His fifty-year career encompassed television, stage, film and radio.
Briers first came to prominence as George Starling in Marriage Lines (1961–66), but it was a decade later, when he narrated Roobarb and Noah and Nelly in... SkylArk (1974–76) and when he played Tom Good in the BBC sitcom The Good Life (1975–78), that he became a household name. Later, he starred as Martin in Ever Decreasing Circles (1984–89), and he had a leading role as Hector in Monarch of the Glen (2000–05). From the late 1980s, with Kenneth Branagh as director, he performed Shakespearean roles in Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Hamlet (1996), and As You Like It (2006).
In an interview with the Daily Mail on 31 January 2013, Briers stated that he had smoked about half a million cigarettes before he quit. According to Lucy Briers, his daughter, he quit instantly in 2001 after a routine chest X-ray suggested he would otherwise soon be in a wheelchair.
He was diagnosed with emphysema in 2007. He died at his home in Bedford Park, London on 17 February 2013 from the effects of a cardiac arrest.