EastEnders' Letitia Dean pays tribute to Leslie Grantham

EastEnders star Leslie Grantham dies aged 71

Actor Leslie Grantham, best known for his role as Dirty Den Watts on EastEnders, has died at the age of 71.

A representative for Grantham confirmed his passing on Friday morning.

"His 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".

"We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends at this extremely hard time".

The actor, who played soap villain Den Watts, had been surrounded by friends and co-stars and earlier reports said he was being monitored by doctors in a United Kingdom hospital.

He appeared in the first ever episode of EastEnders in 1985, and helped the soap attract record ratings on Christmas Day of the same year, when 30 million viewers tuned in to watch Den hand divorce papers to his on-screen wife Angie.

Yet the star's lasting legacy is undoubtedly from his scene-stealing presence on EastEnders, where he constantly made waves on Albert Square with his villainous antics.


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

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

Dean said, via the EastEnders Twitter account: "I have very special memories of working with Leslie and will cherish them always".

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".

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. In 2010, he spent time in Bulgaria filming TV series The English Neighbour. "You was West Ham, I am Spurs - but that didn't matter".

Grantham was a former soldier, and learned to act while serving a 10-year prison sentence for the murder of a German taxi driver while on army service.

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