EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham dies

Image caption Grantham had been living in Getaway prior to his death

EastEnders actor or actress Leslie Grantham, best known as the roguish “Dirty” Den Watts in the BBC One soap, has died from ages 71.

Grantham got the opening line in the 1st episode of EastEnders and had been at the heart of Walford life till 1989.

He came back in 2003 before leaving permanently two years later, following a tabloid scandal.

Tributes have been compensated by his EastEnders co-stars. Anita Dobson, who played Den’s very first wife Angie, said she had been “deeply shocked and saddened”.

His agent said this individual died on Friday morning which a private funeral will be held.

The announcement associated with his death follows news earlier recently that Grantham got returned to the UK to receive medical therapy.

Picture caption His on-screen relationship to Angie (Anita Dobson) held viewers gripped

EastEnders executive consultant Steve Yorke told the BBC: “Everyone at EastEnders is deeply saddened to hear that Leslie has died.

“We lengthen our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time. ”

Dobson said in a statement: “I loved working with Leslie and I will not forget our time together upon EastEnders. ”

‘The chemistry was magic’

Speaking in London this afternoon, the particular actress said he had been “fun to be around” and “the archetypal charming rogue”.

“There was always that look regarding him that you didn’t know what he or she was going to do next, ” the girl told the BBC. “That had been his ace in the hole.

“We were both really lucky that individuals were cast opposite each other, inch she went on. “The chemistry had been magic… it just happened. inch

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Media caption Anita Dobson pays homage

Dobson said she had been planning to visit Grantham in hospital upon Friday to say goodbye and let him know “you made TV history”.

June Brown, who performs Dot Cotton, said she has been “very fond of Leslie and are so sorry that he has gone”.

In a statement, the girl added: “I always enjoyed speaking with him, he made me giggle and always had a twinkle in the eye when he said crazy things.

“He was obviously a wonderful and special actor, amusing and very talented. I shall keep in mind him very fondly and with love. ”

‘Special memories’

Letitia Leader, who played Den’s daughter Sharon, released a statement saying “thank you for everything” to Grantham.

She said: “I have very special memories associated with working with Leslie and will cherish all of them always. He and Anita cared for me in my early days and demonstrated me the ropes, always carefully and kindness.

“He never failed to make me laugh and am will remember him with really like, affection and gratitude forever. Help you up there Leslie! ”

Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale, said she was “deeply saddened” and had “so many joyful memories of working with Leslie”.

“He was always thrilling and we shared many laughs, inch she wrote, adding that the Xmas episodes in which Grantham appeared “will always be part of EastEnders history”.

Grantham rose to popularity when he was cast because the landlord of the Queen Vic, the particular east London public house close to which the action in EastEnders centers.

More than 30 mil viewers tuned in to watch the Christmas Day episode in 1986, in which his character handed separation and divorce papers to Angie.

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Media caption The particular EastEnders scene watched by 30m viewers

But Grantham’s life had not been without controversy. In 1966, he or she was convicted of murdering the German taxi driver while offering as a soldier.

And 2004 he was revealed to took part in webcam sex classes from his EastEnders dressing area at Elstree Studios.

Shane Richie, who played Alfie Moon, said Grantham had “had his demons” but had nevertheless been “a natural charmer”.

“There’s no denying he or she was & will always be @bbceastenders finest landlord, ” he wrote on Tweets .

Grasping storylines

Dirty Living area was an EastEnders stalwart from the first episode and stayed with regard to four years, despite Grantham getting only signed up for 10 episodes.

Viewers were held when he was revealed to become the father of teenager Michelle Fowler’s baby and by his apparent canalside death in 1989.

After returning to Albert Square fourteen years later, Den was definitively killed off in 2005 great body buried in the Queen Vic’s cellar.

Grantham remained busy after leaving EastEnders, showing up in pantomimes and stage performs, as well as writing a fantasy new for children.

This individual was reported to have been residing in Bulgaria before his death, getting gone there to appear in a Tv shows called The English Neighbour.

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Media caption Leslie Grantham’s first scene within the English Neighbour

Tributes have been compensated to the actor by other EastEnders cast members, among them Michael Cashman and Tracy Ann Oberman.

Cashman, who played Colin Russell in the soap, said Grantham was ” a lovely guy “, whilst Oberman, who played Dirty Den’s second wife Chrissie, called your pet “a very very good actor”.

Craig Fairbrass, AKA Serta Sullivan, said Grantham had been inch a strong function model “, while Ough Norwood – “Fatboy” on the show — hoped he would ” rest in peace “.

Their emotions were echoed by Dean Gaffney, who played Robbie Jackson plus who described Grantham as inch an EastEnders icon “.

Other tributes have come from glamour model Linda Lusardi, who stated he was ” such a character inch, and the broadcaster Paul Ross, who else recalled him as a “talented, kind and very funny man”.

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