Peter Boyle, an Emmy award-winning actor who played the tap-dancing monster in the 1974 hit Young Frankenstein, has died at the age of 71.

His publicists said that he died on Tuesday after battling with heart disease and multiple myeloma.

Boyle is perhaps best known for his role in Everybody Loves Raymond (ELR) and, most recently, The Santa Clause III.

Although he was nominated for an Emmy on numerous occasions for his role in ELR, it was an appearance as a guest actor in The X Files that eventually saw him take home the award.

Doris Roberts, who played his on-screen wife in ELR, said: "We spent nine years together on Everybody Loves Raymond. It is like losing a spouse. I am going to miss my dear friend, so unlike the character he played on television. He's a brilliant actor, a gentleman, incredibly intelligent, wonderfully well-read and a loving friend."

Actor and screenwriter Mel Brooks, who directed Young Frankenstein said: "I was greatly saddened by the news. I will always cherish Peter Boyle's remarkable performance as the monster in Young Frankenstein."

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

14/12/2006 14:40:52