The star of 60s cartoons The Wacky Races and Stop The Pigeon has died in a nursing home in Bognor Regis aged 82, after a short illness. Dastardly shot to fame after landing the role of the devious but ill fated racing driver in Wacky Races in the late 60s. However it was a bitter sweet experience for Dastardly, as he desperately wanted to be taken more seriously as an actor, and felt he was being type cast.
He screen tested for the role of Father Merrin in The Exorcist but lost out to Max Von Sydow after William Friedkin said 'Dastardly's acting ability was limited to shaking his fist and shouting 'Curses'! Friedkin claimed that Dastardly couldn't do the quiet but stern serenity that he wanted Merrin to evoke.
A few years later Dastardly auditioned for the role of Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's epic production, that eventually went to Ben Kingsley. Dastardly upset Attenborough allegedly by stating that he saw Gandhi as being 'essentially a stubborn old fool wrapped in a sheet'.
Dastardly's sidekick in the Wacky Races, Muttley, now aged 80, said he was 'quietly devastated' at the news of his former co stars death.