20/09/2021 10:18 BST | Updated 20/09/2021 10:26 BST

Ice-T Pays Tribute To 'Internet Friend' John Challis After Comedy Actor's Death

The Only Fools And Horses star died on Sunday at the age of 79.

Ice-T has paid tribute to his “internet friend” John Challis.

The Only Fools And Horses star died on Sunday at the age of 79, following what his family described as a long battle with cancer. 

The US rapper and Law & Order actor had struck up a friendship with John on Twitter in the last few years, and was among the stars to pay their respects online. 

NBC via Getty Images

The Grammy-winning artist wrote on Twitter: “I just heard John passed away.. He somehow became a Twitter friend.

“I’m very sad. Although I never met him in person.. Internet friends can become close.. RIP.”

Just weeks ago, John – who was best known for his role as Boycie in Only Fools And Horses – had shared his hopes to meet up with Ice-T in person in New York.

Ice-T – who stars in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – had tweeted: “It amazes people that I’m still going strong doing concerts almost every weekend and filming every weekday.. I’ll think about slowin down in about 7 more years when I’m 70. Maybe not… (sic)”

John wrote back: “Your body will tell you when to slow down, believe me.Hoping we can meet in NY next year. (sic)”

Mike Marsland via Getty Images
John Challis 

After news of John’s death was announced on Sunday, his Only Fools And Horses co-stars Sir David Jason and Sue Holderness led the tributes

Sir David, who played Derek “Del Boy” Trotter, said in a statement: “He was a wonderful actor, a gentleman in the true sense of the word and I know he will be missed by so many.”

He said Boycie was “a character so well loved by the many fans of that show so I am pleased that he witnessed the outpouring of admiration recently shown for the 40th anniversary of the first episode in 1981”.

Sue, who played John’s on-screen wife Marlene, tweeted: “Marlene without Boycie – it’s unthinkable.

“John Challis was my partner on screen and stage for 36 years and my beloved friend. R.I.P. darling John. I will miss you every day.”

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