Martin Short, who played an Arsenal captain in Alan Hansen’s syndicated Melrose series, has died aged 80.

The comic actor passed away on Saturday at a Sydney hospice. The cause of death was not immediately available.

In 2001, Short was awarded an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of diminutive vice-president Albert Einstein in the biopic An Inconvenient Truth. He was also nominated for two Baftas and a Golden Globe.

Short starred in more than 60 films, and more than 35 television series, including a number of prime-time comedy shows, including his acclaimed TV franchise, The Minstrel Show.

Short’s wife, Inez, described him as a great man, one who made a difference to so many, and said in a statement that his death left a “great hole in the lives of everyone he knew”.

Short, who first grew up in Sydney’s north-west, won his first Emmy for his portrayal of a bank forecloser on the television sitcom The Barracuda in 1973. The role launched Short to international fame and has been followed by a host of series, all including The Baxter, Morning Star, Spectra, Air It, Bionic Family, The Ting Show, McQuarrie, The 22 Files, Spitfire, and The Men In Black.