Actor Dennis Waterman, who starred in the TV shows Minder, The Sweeney and New Tricks, has died at the age of 74, it has been announced.
Eterman starred as bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder and first rose to fame as tough nut cop George Carter in The Sweeney opposite John Thaw.
A statement from his family said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Denise passed away in a Spanish hospital on Sunday afternoon, with Pam with her.
“The family kindly asks that our privacy is respected during this difficult time.”
Minder transported the criminal underworld of west London to millions of homes up and down the country.
Waterman played Gerry Standing in BBC’s New Tricks, and other TV roles throughout his career include ITV’s Where the Heart Is, The Canterbury Tales, and Moses Jones, both for the BBC.
He became famous for singing the theme songs on several of his shows and was consequently caricatured in Little Britain by David Walliams.
His last film role was in Never Too Late in 2020, which was filmed in Australia.
Born in London, he was educated at the Corona Theater School, and began his showbiz career at an early age, and was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company of Stratford, following a role for the Children’s Film Foundation.
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A role followed in an adaptation of the Just William books by the BBC, and the actor would, in his later years, consider some of the different roles he had performed.
In 2009, he starred in the BBC’s hard-hitting drama Moses Jones, a role he said at the time, he enjoyed as it cast him in a different light.
“I really enjoyed it, because it was a very different kind of character – and that’s important. On television in the UK, I’m everybody’s fellow, cheeky sycophant, but I’ve never played anything like that in theatre. It is strange that you are cast as different things in different parts of the media,” he told PA at the time.
Her role in the 2004 drama New Tricks marked her return to the long-running show for the first time in the decade and saw her star alongside acting legends James Bollum and Alun Armstrong.
Her character Gerry was part of the cold case squad, often accompanied by her detective boss, played by Amanda Redmayne.
Minder was later revived by Channel 5 in 2009, but Waterman did not return for new outings.
He was married several times, including actress Rula Lenska, by 1998, and their daughter, Hannah, became a TV star in her own right – playing a role as Laura Beale in EastEnders.