Penelope Keith / Richard Briers / Paul Eddington / Felicity Kendal on The Good Life

Where all the cast of The Good Life are now – death, affairs and rare cancer diagnosis aged 28

The Good Life ran between 1975 and 1978

The Good Life – which is the subject of a Channel 5 documentary this weekend (Saturday, June 22) – was one of Britain’s most popular sitcoms when it was brought to life by a star-studded cast in the 1970s.

Now, 46 years on from its final episode, here’s a look at where the cast of the show are now, almost five decades later…

Richard Briers speaking in a documentary
Richard played Tom Good in the show (Credit: BBC)

Where are the cast of The Good Life now? Richard Briers (Tom Good)

Prior to landing the role of Tom Good in The Good Life, Richard was already a well-known face on British television.

He first came to prominence in the role of George Starling in Marriage Lines. This was a role he inhabited between 1963 and 1966.

He landed the role of Tom in The Good Life – and appeared in the show from its inception in 1975 until its end in 1978.

He continued to appear on television afterward, acting in shows such as Doctor Who, Mr Bean and Inspector Morse. Long-running roles in All In Good Faith and Monarch of the Glen followed.

In his later years, he appeared in Torchwood, the Peter Pan movie in 2003 and provided his voice for several Bob the Builder films.

He also featured in several of Kenneth Branagh‘s Shakespeare adaptations over the years.

He was married to fellow actor Ann Davies. Together they had two children – including actress Lucy Briers.

In 2007, he was diagnosed with emphysema, a lung disease. He sadly died in 2013 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 79.

Felicity Kendal smiling on This Morning
Actor Felicity has had a prolific theatre career (Credit: ITV)

Felicity Kendal – Barbara Good

Felicity, now 79, played Tom’s wife, Barbara, in the sitcom.

Prior to The Good Life, Felicity had had a prolific stage career, appearing in several Shakespearean productions around the UK.

After The Good Life, Felicity’s screen career went from strength to strength. She fronted the sitcom Solo between 1981 and 1982, and between 2002 and 2006, she appeared in the cosy crime series, Rosemary and Thyme.

In 2008, she appeared in Doctor Who, and in 2010 was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. She was paired with Vincent Simone. They were the seventh couple to be eliminated in a series won by Kara Tointon.

She has continued to appear prolifically on stage – and her most recent TV work includes Inside No.9 and Batman prequel, Pennyworth.

She has been married twice. Her first marriage was to actor Drewe Henley. They were wed between 1968 and 1979. In 1983, she married Michael Rudman before they divorced in 1990. She then embarked on an affair with the playwright, Tom Stoppard.

However, she reconciled with her ex-husband Michael in 1998. They remained together until his death in 2023. She has two children.

Paul Eddington on The Good Life
The actor died in 1995 (Credit: BBC)

Where is the Cast of The Good Life now? Paul Eddington – Jerry Leadbetter

Paul played one half of Tom and Barbara’s upper-class neighbours, Jerry and Margo.

Before becoming a household name with The Good Life, Paul played the role of Will Scarlet in The Adventures of Robin Hood. This series ran between 1956 and 1960 on ITV.

After The Good Life, he landed another long-running role in Yes, Minister. He played James Hacker in it between 1980 and 1984. He returned to the role when the series came back for a sequel series, Yes, Prime Minister, in 1986.

His final TV role came in 1995 when he appeared in a TV adaptation of Henry IV Parts 1 & 2.

He died in 1995 at the age of 68. He’d been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called mycosis fungoides when he was 28. This was ultimately the cause of his death, 40 years later. He had kept his diagnosis private until he died.

Penelope Keith wearing a suit and hat on a walk
Penelope Keith is now 84 (Credit:

The Good Life cast now: Dame Penelope Keith – Margo Leadbetter

Dame Penelope portrayed Jerry’s wife, Margo in the hit sitcom.

She began her TV career with roles in The Army Game and The Avengers. In 1977, she won a BAFTA for her role as Margo in The Good Life.

Between 1979 and 1981, she played Audrey Forbes-Hamilton in To The Manor Born, and also appeared in sitcoms such as Sweet Sixteen and Next of Kin.

She won another BAFTA – this time for Best Actress – in 1978 for her performance in The Norman Conquests.

In the last few years, she has presented Channel 4 documentaries, including Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages and Penelope Keith’s Coastal Villages.

She succeeded Lord Olivier as president of the Actors’ Benevolent Fund in 1984 – and was awarded a Damehood in 2014 for her services to the arts and charity.

She has been married to Rodney Timson, a policeman, since 1978. Together they adopted two boys.

Reginald Marsh inThe Good Life
The actor had enjoyed a prolific TV career before The Good Life (Credit: BBC)

The Good Life cast: Reginald Marsh – Andrew

Reginald played the role of Andrew/Sir in the sitcom, who was Tom’s boss.

He had had a prolific career on television before appearing in The Good Life. Some of the shows he starred in include Z-Cars, The Saint and The Rat Catchers.

Between 1962 and 1976, he portrayed Dave Smith in Coronation Street, appearing in 110 episodes over the years.

After The Good Life, he went on to portray Sir Dennis Hodge in Terry & June, Mr Winterbottom in How’s Your Father? and Reg Lamont in Crossroads: Kings Oak.

His final TV role came in 1998, when he portrayed Henry in Mr Wymi.

He was married twice and had six children. He sadly died in 2001 at the age of 74.

Read more: Where the cast of Dirty Dancing are now: Death, heroin overdose and surgery that made star unrecognisable

The Good Life: 50 Years of Laughter airs on Channel 5 and My5 on Saturday (June 22) at 6.15pm.

Would You Like Some Bread With That Cheese? | Good Life | BBC Comedy Greats

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Robert Emlyn Slater
Senior Writer