His family announced the news.
The British star was best known for playing Bernard Wooley in Yes Minister and its spin-off Yes Prime Minister between the years of 1980 and 1988.
He went on to play Sergeant Oscar Blaketon in long-running series Heartbeat for 18 years from 1992 to 2010.
Fowlds’ big break came after playing one of Basil Brush’s famous stooges on the fictional fox’s own TV show from 1969 to 1973.
The actor was born in London’s Wandsworth in 1937. He trained at RADA before making his West End debut in an adaptation of The Miracle Worker.
His other credits included Edward the Seventh, in which he played Lord Randolph Churchill, and sitcom Affairs of the Heart.
Fowlds, who had marriages with Wendy Tory and Blue Peter presenter Lesley Judd, is survived by two children.