Leslie Grantham dead Dirty Den Watts EastEnders

18 June 2018, 01:55 | Santos Harmon

EastEnders star Leslie Grantham has died aged 71

EastEnders star Leslie Grantham dies aged 71

Leslie, who played "Dirty" Den Watts in the soap, passed away on Friday aged 71.

The actor appeared in EastEnders from 1985 to 1989, playing popular character "Dirty Den" in the soap, before later returning to the show in 2003.

Earlier this week it was announced that Grantham had returned to the United Kingdom from Bulgaria, where he had been starring in a show called The English Neighbour, to receive medical attention.

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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His representative announced on Friday that the actor had died after a long battle with cancer.

According to The Sun, close friends and pals in the showbiz industry had been visiting him in hospital this week.

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Den returned in the early 2000s after being supposedly killed off in 1989, before leaving for good in 2005.

A 1986 Christmas Day episode of the soap drew in an audience of more than 30 million viewers, who watched as Grantham handed over divorce papers to his on-screen wife, Angie (Anita Dobson).

He left the United Kingdom after splitting with his wife of 31 years, Jane.

Letitia Dean, who played Grantham's on-screen daughter, released a statement saying "thank you for everything". In 2010, he spent time in Bulgaria filming TV series The English Neighbour.

He wrote: "What a life Leslie Grantham led".

Prior to his EastEnders career, in 1967 he was convicted of murdering a German taxi driver while serving as a soldier, which he has always denied, and he went to prison until 1977.

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. "Talented, kind and very amusing man".



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