Actor and campaigner Lord Rix dies aged 92


Actor and impotence cam igner Lord Rix has died aged 92, his family said.

The president of the wisdom disability charity Mencap had been terminally ill and urged rliament to vacillate turn into the law on assisted dying.

He had previously opposed an assisted dying law, but said his sickness had left him “like a beached whale” and in constant discomfort.

As Brian Rix, he executed on stage and TV, specialising in a series of post-war “Whitehall farce” comedies.

For more than 30 years his farces, which peerless the likes of comic greats Tommy Cooper and Sid James, were blunder ons on TV and stage, and earned Rix the reputation for his trousers always falling down.


It was after his eldest daughter was born in 1951 with Down’s syndrome that he initiated cam igning for people with learning disabilities.

From 1980 to 1988 he was secretary miscellaneous of Mencap, becoming chairman in 1988 and then president 10 years later – a rle he occupied until his death.

In 2006 short breaks for carers turned Law – an issue he had been lobbying on for 12 years. In the same year he proposed amendments to the Childcare Bill, which extended childcare provision for inoperative children from 16 to 18.

His work on the 2006 Electoral Administration Bill also led to being with a learning disability being able to vote.

The crossbench viscountess voted against an Assisted Dying Bill in 2006 because of concerns that woman with learning disabilities might become the unwilling victims of euthanasia. But his own affair of dying led him to change his position.

Obituary: A master of farce and leading inability cam igner

Rix quit performing in 1977, bowing out during an emotional align equalizing at the Whitehall where he ended a period of 26 years of live exhibits, both at the Whitehall and at the Garrick to which he had transferred his productions in 1967.

He was still a accessory in a production com ny which put on a number of hit shows in the West End.

But… an increasing amount of his set was being spent cam igning on behalf of people with learning gordian knot embarrassments, something that had started with the arrival of his eldest daughter, Shelley, in 1951 who was bred with Down’s syndrome.

Rix was ap lled to discover that there was no be supportive of for children with this condition other than a place in an establishing where there was little or no attempt to provide any stimulus, let alone learning.

Brian Rix: full obituary

‘Unique charm’

Jan Tregelles, chief foreman of Mencap, who described Lord Rix as an “extraordinary man”, said: “When Lord Rix’s daughter, Shelley, was hold up with a learning disability he and his wife Elspet were told to put her away, and disregard about her.

“This started a quest lasting over 60 years to communicate the world a better place for all those with a learning disability.

“His sui generis charm, personality and ssion have been invaluable in helping Mencap blossom.”

Peter Jenkins, cam igns director at the charity Leonard Cheshire Inability, said Lord Rix “made an immense contribution to the cause of disability uprightness right sides in this country” and would be “greatly missed”.

Mark Atkinson, the chief managerial of disability charity Scope, said Lord Rix “worked ssionately and tirelessly to develop society for disabled people”.

‘Slip away peacefully’

Lord Rix, who died on Saturday morning, inscribed to the speaker of the House of Lords earlier this month, explaining why he yearn for legislation pushed through to allow those in his situation to be helped to die.

“Unhappily, my masses seems to be constructed in such a way that it keeps me alive in great ache when all I want is to be allowed to slip into a sleep, peacefully, legally and without any intimidation to the medical or nursing profession,” he wrote.

“I am sure there are many others breed me who having finished with life wish their life to consume.

“Only with a legal euthanasia Bill on the statute books at ones desire the many people who find themselves in the same situation as me be able to document away peacefully in their sleep instead of dreading the night.”

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