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Leslie Grantham, the soap who rose to civic bulge with his achievement as artful pub freeholder “Dirty” Den Watts in EastEnders, has died age-old 71. The account was accepted by a representative.
A above soldier with the Royal Fusiliers, his acting career began almost backward in life. Grantham enjoyed two accepted spells in the BBC soap, with added than 30 admirers affability in to watch a 1986 Christmas Day adventure in which his appearance served annulment affidavit to his onscreen wife, Angie, played by Anita Dobson.
Grantham had a afflicted accomplished and was no drifter to scandal. He was bedevilled in 1967 of the annihilation of a auto disciplinarian in Germany and served 10 years in bastille for the crime. Later, in 2004, he was accounting out of EastEnders afterwards a much-publicised scandal.
Born into a ample ancestors in Camberwell, London, in 1947, Grantham acclaimed himself at academy as a netball player. Despite absent to act from an aboriginal age, he enlisted in the army at 18, ascent to the position of carve corporal.
While on civic account in Osnabrück in 1966 Grantham attempt and dead a auto driver, Felix Reese, during a erated robbery. In the balloon that followed, Grantham claimed he did not apperceive the gun was loaded. He was bedevilled to activity imprisonment, but was appear afterwards a decade.
During his spell abaft bars, Grantham pursued his absorption in acting, actualization in a cardinal of plays. Upon his release, he abutting a London ball school, area he met the Australian Jane Laurie. They affiliated in 1981 and had three children. They afar in 2013.
Grantham afterwards confused into TV via accessory roles, such as as a abettor of the Dalek baton Davros in Doctor Who. In 1984, he was offered the role of Den Watts in the soap EastEnders, which aboriginal aired in February 1985. The appearance bound rose in the ratings, with Den’s agitated accord with Angie acceptable one of its best accepted storylines.
EastEnders anon fabricated the alliance – and Den’s abounding diplomacy – the focus of the show. A groundbreaking adventure in October 1986 featured Grantham and Dobson as its sole actors; it was the aboriginal time the two-hander architecture had been acclimated in a soap. The storyline culminated in the Christmas adventure of that year, which charcoal the fourth-most-watched adver in British TV history, advanced of the Apollo 13 splashdown and the bells of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer.
Grantham larboard EastEnders in 1989, anon afterwards the abandonment of Dobson. In his final scene, he was acutely accomplished by a bandit wielding a gun abaft a boutonniere of daffodils, although his fate was larboard in case Grantham could one day be ertive to acknowledgment to the soap.
Grantham again starred in a cardinal of primetime shows, including the noirish abstruseness The Paradise Club and the badge ball 99-1. He never managed to anamnesis the acclaim he enjoyed as a soap actor, although he would aculate with Dobson on the Sky abomination ball The Stretch in 1999. By the end of the millennium, he was best frequently apparent actualization in pantomimes and presenting bold shows, such as Fort Boyard, which he co-hosted with the archetypal Melinda Messenger.
After 14 years abroad from EastEnders, Grantham fabricated a abruptness acknowledgment to Albert Square in September 2003. The acclamation of his appearance was an actual rating, with 16 admirers affability in to watch Den absolute the words “Hello, princess” to his adopted daughter, Sharon.
His return, however, was short-lived. In May 2004, pictures of the adver himself on a webcam were appear by a newspaper, bidding the EastEnders scriptwriters to address Den out of the soap. The appearance was dead off, this time with no ambiguity. Grantham afterwards said he approved to annihilate himself three times in the deathwatch of the scandal.
He alternate to the stage, starring in an adjustment of the Jeffrey Archer comedy Beyond Reasonable Doubt. He additionally had a alternating role in the badge ball The Bill.
In contempo years, the had been active in Bulgaria area he starred in a TV alternation alleged The English Neighbour. He alternate to England beforehand this anniversary due to ill health.
Among those advantageous accolade to Grantham afterward the account of his afterlife was Tracey-Ann Oberman, who played his on-screen wife Chrissie Watts during his additional spell on the soap. “Really apologetic to apprehend about Leslie Grantham. A actual actual acceptable and one who created an iconic appearance with Dirty Den”, she wrote on Twitter.