Blue Velvet star George Dickerson has died, aged 81.

The actor passed away on 10 January (15) following a long illness, according his son Dome Karukoski, who announced the sad news in a post on Facebook.com, writing, "It was not unexpected since he had been sick for a long time. I'm sad, but also somewhat relieved. He died peacefully with his loved ones around him. He had a wonderful life full of experiences, that one could just imagine to have."

DICkerson is most famous for playing Detective John Williams in David Lynch's 1986 crime drama Blue Velvet and his recurring role on 1980s Tv cop drama Hill Street Blues.

He worked as a journalist, poet and playwright and speech writer for U.S. congressman Robert Steele before taking acting classes and moving to Hollywood.

DICkerson landed guest roles on soap opera Search for Tomorrow and Tv series Little House on the Prairie, The Incredible Hulk and Charlie's Angels before finding fame on Hill Street Blues.

He also boasted credits on Tv series Miami Vice, The Flash and Three's Company and films including Psycho Ii, No Mercy and Death Wish 4: The Crackdown.