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EastEnders star Leslie Grantham dies aged 71

EastEnders star Leslie Grantham dies aged 71

Grantham shot to fame playing Watts in EastEnders, originally from 1985 to 1989.

This week, the soap star was being monitored by doctors after returning to the United Kingdom from Bulgaria.

EastEnders icon Leslie Grantham has died at the age of 71, it has been confirmed.

The Loose Women Twitter account also shared: "Sad news today - EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham, who played Dirty Den, has died aged 71".

Half of Britain's population, some 30 million people, watched a 1986 Christmas episode in which Den handed his wife divorce papers with the words "Happy Christmas, Ange".

Grantham's life was not without controversy.

The star was best known for his on-screen partnership with actress Anita Dobson who played his long-suffering wife Angie in EastEnders.

A spokesperson for Grantham's family said: "We formally announce the loss of Leslie Grantham, who passed away at 10.20am on the morning of Friday 15th June 2018".

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

Letitia Dean, whose character Sharon was affectionately called "Princess" by doting dad Den, also released a statement, saying: "I have special memories of working with Leslie and will cherish them always".

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

The character was apparently murdered in 1989, but made a shock return to Albert Square in 2003.

"There will be a private funeral which will be attended by close family and friends only", they added.

In 2004, he was forced to apologise after he took part in webcam sex sessions from his EastEnders dressing room, the results of which went public. In 2010, he spent time in Bulgaria filming TV series The English Neighbour.


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