EastEnders star Leslie Grantham passes away

18 June, 2018, 01:53 | Author: Eleanor Thompson
  • EastEnders Den Watts star Leslie Grantham dies aged 71

The actor, who also co-hosted the United Kingdom version of French gameshow "Fort Boyard", appeared on "EastEnders" from 1985 to 1989 and returned to the BBC One series from 2003 to 2005.

A statement from his agent said he died on Friday morning after returning to the United Kingdom from Bulgaria to receive medical attention.

His representative said in a statement that Grantham's "ex-wife and sons have asked for their privacy to be respected at this hard time, and for there to be no approaches to them for information or comment".

"They will not be making any statements to the media". His representatives said there would be a private funeral for close friends and family.

Meanwhile, John Yorke, EastEnders' Executive Consultant, said in a statement: "Everyone at EastEnders is deeply saddened to hear that Leslie has passed away".

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The actor, best known as rogue "Dirty Den" in the BBC One soap, had been ill and had been receiving treatment in hospital.

Dobson added: "I came from nothing, from the east end with no money, and Leslie, as you know, had a chequered life before EastEnders, but we sort of understood each other, we understood that life can be tough".

Grantham first left Albert Square in 1989 after a criminal gang he was involved with, called The Firm, tried to kill him.

He and Anita [Dobson, who played Sharon's mum Angie] looked after me in my early days and showed me the ropes, always with care and kindness.

The soap's 1986 Christmas Day episode - which saw Den hand over divorce papers to wife Angie - is still one of the most-watched TV episodes ever, with over 30 million viewers.

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Grantham is survived by his ex-wife, Jane Laurie, and three sons.

Leslie was convicted of murder in 1966 and served ten years in prison after a taxi robbery in Berlin went wrong.

His second stint on the show was also marked by controversy, after Grantham was revealed to have conducted webcam sex sessions from his EastEnders dressing room.

Broadcaster Paul Ross remembered him as a "talented, kind and very amusing man", while Craig Fairbrass - who played Dan Sullivan in EastEnders - said he had been "a strong role model".

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