After a battle with leukemia for 14 years, one of the founding fathers of "Royal Canadian Air Farce," Roger Abbott, died on Saturday night. He was 64 years old and passed away at a Toronto hospital.
“I’m heartbroken to tell you that our beloved friend, Roger Abbott, died last night at Toronto General Hospital, 14 years after being diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a progressive disease that he kept secret from all but a few close friends and family until a week ago,” friend and co-star Don Ferguson said on the show’s website on Sunday, as reported by The Star. He went on to tell the CBC, "He was my best friend. We’ve known each other for 51 years. We were creative partners for more than 40. We did so much together over our lifetime. I was so happy to be there with him when he slipped away. My last words to him were, ‘Good night, sweet prince.’"
He was diagnosed with the disease in 1997 but continued to work, appearing in the Air Farce’s New Year’s Eve Special this past December. Last night the CBC ran a tribute to the late actor called "Royal Canadian Air Farce Special: A Tribute To Roger Abbott."
A media release from "Air Farce" put out this statement to fans who want to honour Abbott in some way: "Many people have asked what they can do to remember Roger. His favourite charity was Easter Seals Ontario. He was devoted to helping children with physical disabilities and was a passionate supporter, with his time and money, for more than 30 years. Donations can be made to Easter Seals Ontario in his name at http://www.easterseals.org. Roger would thank you!"