Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses: What happened to the cast, including tragic deaths and showbiz marriages

Long live bookie street! A celebration of Trotter's Independent Traders and all those we've loved (and lost) along the way

Only Fools and Horses has been a firm favourite for an incredible four decades.

Many of us will have had our first proper laugh-out-loud TV-watching moment courtesy of Del Boy and Rodney and many of their catchphrases are a staple part of our vernacular.

“This time next year, we could be millionaires!”

Created and written by the late great John Sullivan, the story focused in on the lives of Del Boy Trotter (played by David Jason) and his younger brother Rodney (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) in their tireless quest to make a few quid as Trotter’s Independent Traders.

Many of the stars of the show have sadly passed away but here we take a look at where some of the surviving cast members are now as well as pay tribute to those we’ve lost along the way.

Del Boy (David Jason OBE)

"Play it nice and cool. You know what I mean?"

It wouldn’t be right to start this list in any other way.

Derek “Del Boy” Trotter is the main character, played by David Jason and is the lovable wheeler-dealer we all had a soft spot for.

David Jason’s real name is actually David White.

Now aged 82, his mother Olwen Jones was from Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan (Now Merthyr Tydfil, County Borough).

David continued acting after Only Fools playing Jack Frost in A Touch of Frost, Granville in Open All Hours and Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May.

He was also the voice of Toad in The Wind in the Willows and the main character in Danger Mouse and Count Duckula.

In his personal life, he lived with long-term partner, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog for 18 years until she died of breast cancer in 1995.

He became a father for the first time at the age of 61 when his girlfriend, 41-year-old Gill Hinchcliffe, gave birth to a baby girl, Sophie Mae.

Jason and Hinchcliffe married in 2005 and live in Buckinghamshire.

Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst)

Rodney (Image: BBC)

Nicholas Lyndhurst played Del Boy’s long suffering younger brother Rodney in the show. Often horrified by Del Boy’s schemes, he would faithfully allow himself to be dragged along anyway and often would get called a “plonker” no matter what he did.

Nicholas Lyndhurst went on to have success in his role as Gary Sparrow in BBC sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart for which he one two National Television Awards.

Tragedy struck in September 2020 when Nicholas’s son, Archie Lyndhurst died from a acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

In a statement, Lyndhurst said he and his wife Lucy were “utterly grief stricken and respectfully request privacy”.

Marlene Boyce (Sue Holderness)


If you had to do a Boycie impression, chances are you’d say the word: “Marlene” in that well-known Boycie voice.

Marlene was Boycie’s wife in Only Fools played by Sue Holderness.

Holderness regularly appears in The Vagina Monologues and is part of the case of the touring play Seven Deadly Sins Four Deadly Sinners.

Sue Holderness
Sue Holderness (Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

The actress also played the role of Annie in the 2010 UK Tour of Calendar Girls as well as playing many roles in film and TV including Estelle in Eastenders on 2021.

She has two children with her husband Mark Piper to whom she’s been married to since 1989.

Raquel (Tessa Peake-Jones)

Tessa Peake Jones
Tessa Peake Jones

Raquel was the longtime partner of the main character of Del Boy and actress Tessa Peake-Jones has continued to have a successful TV career elsewhere in things like: The Demon Headmaster, Midsomer Murders, Casualty, The Bill and Grantchester amongst many others.

In a strange TV quirk, Peake-Jones’s real-life partner Douglas Hodge, even played her on-screen son Damien Trotter (as an adult) in the Only Fools and Horses episode “Heroes and Villains”.

They have two children together and announced that they had split up in 2013 after 27 years together.

Damien Trotter (played by numerous actors: Patrick McManus (1991), Grant Stevens (1991), Robert Liddement (1992), Jamie Smith (1993–96), Douglas Hodge (1996; as adult), Ben Smith (2001–03)

Douglas Hodge played adult Damien in Only Fools and Horses
Douglas Hodge played adult Damien in Only Fools and Horses (Image: BBC)

Damien Trotter was one of the most hilarious introductions to the series.

The baby son of Del Boy and Raquel, who for some reason gave Rodney the series frights and therefore lots of laughs for us, was played by many actors over the years.

And as mentioned above, Damien’s character was once played by his on-screen mother Raquel’s real life husband Douglas Hodge?

Are you following us?

In the 1996 episode, Heroes and Villians, the special followed Del Boy and Rodney arriving at a wake dressed as Batman and Robin.

The episode opens with Rodney’s futuristic dream where his ‘evil’ nephew Damien is head of the now very powerful Trotters Independent Traders, who rule the Western world.

This particular scene is set in the year 2026 and Damien Trotter is declaring war on China from their headquarters Trotters Towers.

And the actor playing Damien Tessa Peake-Jones real-life husband, Douglas Hodge, so the pair starred alongside each other in the episode.

Another “Damien” was child-actor at the time Benjamin Smith.

After his brief stint on the British sitcom from 2001-2003, Ben continued to pursue a career in acting.

In 2008, Ben put his London roots back into good use, by joining the cast of EastEnders.

For four episodes, Ben took on the role of Tegs, the ringleader of an intimidating gang called E20.

As well as causing havoc in the square, Ben’s character Tegs stabbed Jay Mitchell and was arrested.

Ben also starred in BBC’s The Accused.

Cassandra (Gwynth Strong)

Gwyneth Strong
Gwyneth Strong (Image: PA)

Cassandra was the love interest, and later wife, of Rodney Trotter.

She’s had a number of TV roles including Hetty in ITV’s Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married (1999), BBC’s Casualty in 2013 as Jim Brodie’s wife, Elizabeth and in Midsomer Murders in 2011.

She also appeared in the “True Confessions” two-part episode of the series A Touch of Frost, reuniting her on screen with David Jason.

In 2016, she joined the cast of the Eastenders as Geraldine Cough.

She’s married to Footballers’ Wives and Eldorado star Jesse Birdsall and they have two children.

Rashid “Gary” Mahmood (Nabil Elouahabi)

Nabil played the minor role of Gary in Only Fools and Horses.

His plotline was that he was found in Denzil’s lorry by Del and Rodney after they arrive back in Peckham from Dover.

They decide to take him into the flat as they feared he would get hurt if they simply let him go into the streets in the middle of the night.

Nabil has also had roles in: Casualty, Eastenders, Ali G Indahouse, and HBO’s Generation Kill.

Recently he’s been spotted in The Tower and Trigger Point.

Trigger (Roger Lloyd Pack)

Roger Lloyd Peck
Roger Lloyd Peck

Now we’re on to the sadder end of our list.

Roger Lloyd Pack starred in Only Fools as Del Boy’s mate, Trigger.

Much loved in the role we also loved him as Owen in The Vicar of Dibley.

Lloyd-Pack was married twice: first to Sheila Ball and secondly to the poet and dramatist Jehane Markham

He had a daughter, actress Emily Lloyd, and three sons.

Lloyd-Pack supported Tottenham Hotspur and voiced the pre-match build-up montage video shown ahead of all Tottenham Hotspur’s home matches, which is still played today.

He died of pancreatic cancer in 2014.

Boycie (John Challis)

John Challis
John Challis (Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Boycie was a much-loved member of the cast of Only Fools and Horses.

He sadly died from cancer in 2021 but, following the series, like almost all of his co-stars, he had a successful career in TV, film and theatre play many roles which included parts in: One Foot in the Grave, The Bill and Brass Eye.

Challis was married four times and had no children.

He was a patron of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

He was an Arsenal supporter and through Twitter, he made friends with American actor and musician Ice-T, with the pair exchanging gifts although never meeting in person.

Grandad (Lennard Pearce)

Lennard Pearce as Grandad Trotter
Lennard Pearce as Grandad Trotter (Image: BBC)

Lennard Pearce died aged 69 in 1984.

He played “Grandad” between 1981 and 1983.

But coming to the show later in his career, he already had a great deal of acting under his belt.

During World War II, Pearce performed for the Entertainments National Service Association appeared in many plays at the National Theatre.

Pearce starred in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals alongside David Jason his Only Fools Grandson, but the two men did not meet again until 15 years later.

A heavy smoker for many years, Pearce was in poor health while filming Only Fools and Horses.

Pearce suffered a second heart attack on 15 December at his and died instantly. He was 69.

Sullivan was phoned the following morning to be told the news, and he broke it to Pearce’s Only Fools and Horses co-stars who were devastated.

When Pearce died, production was under way of the Only Fools and Horses episode “Hole in One”.

Scenes he had filmed on location prior to his death were re-shot with Buster Merryfield as the replacement character Uncle Albert, and the episode was put back in the series.

The episode “Strained Relations” begins in the wake of the death of the character Pearce had played.

Uncle Albert (Buster Merrifield)

Buster Merrifield did not become a professional actor until he was 57 years old having previously worked in a bank for 40 years.

In Only Fools and Horses he was known for his catchphrase of “During the war…”.

At the National Television Awards in 1997, while walking to the stage to collect an award for David Jason for his part in Only Fools and Horses, he fell over and cut his forehead.

He died of a brain tumour in 2002 and is buried alongside his wife, Iris in Dorset.

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