Entertainment

‘Superb actor’: British TV legend dies

The celebrated TV star, best-known for his tough guy roles in shows like Minder, New Tricks and The Sweeney, died at his Spanish home with his wife by his side.Tributes today poured in for the star as his family confirmed his death.A family statement said today: “We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Dennis, passed away very peacefully at his home in Spain, on Saturday evening, with Pam by his side.“The family kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”Waterman’s cause of death is unknown.Dennis Waterman took up his first role aged just 13 and his last film role was in Never Too Late in 2020, filmed in Australia.He became one of Britain’s best-known faces through the 1970s, when he played DS George Carter in ITV’s police drama The Sweeney.The actor then played bodyguard Terry McCann in the comedy-drama Minder, bringing London’s criminal underworld to millions.He left the role in 1989 after his seventh series.And he played Gerry Standing in crime drama New Tricks for more than a decade, starting when it began in 2003.Dennis was also a singer, releasing three albums and 12 singles.His 1983 song What Are We Gonna Get ‘Er Indoors? with George Cole was 21st in the UK charts.And he became well-known for singing the theme songs to many of his shows.He was caricatured by David Walliams in the comedy series Little Britain as a result. The character repeatedly visits his agent, played by Matt Lucas, looking for parts.Matt Lucas led tributes to the actor, writing: “I grew up watching Dennis Waterman’s iconic performances in The Sweeney and Minder.“His guest appearance in our Little Britain Live show at Hammersmith Apollo – in which he hilariously duetted with David’s absurd impersonation of him – remains the absolute highlight of my career.”Piers Morgan added: “RIP Dennis Waterman, 74. Star of Minder, New Tricks and for me, his finest role – as Detective George Carter in The Sweeney opposite the late, great John Thaw.“Superb actor and a great character. Sad news.”TV tragedyBody Actor and writer Reece Shearsmith paid tribute to Dennis Waterman.He tweeted: “RIP Dennis Waterman.“When I worked with him on ‘New Tricks’ he made me the best cups of tea.“And of course I just spent the time grilling him about ‘Scars of Dracula’.”Paddy McGuinness paid tribute to Waterman following his death, saying he had always wanted to be the character Terry McCann.In a tweet, he wrote: “Myself and my Phoenix Nights cast mates used to sing the theme tune to Minder on tour and on the Karaoke! Gutted I never got to meet him, always wanted to be Terry McCann. Another icon from my childhood gone. RIP Dennis Waterman.”DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles reminisced about a charity golf trip he took alongside Waterman.Knowles tweeted: “I played golf on a tour to Bermuda with Dennis Waterman – I’m not much of a golfer – he was – but it was time spent with him between rounds that were well worth the trip. A genuinely lovely guy. RIP.Dennis was born in Clapham, South London, as the youngest of nine children.Boxing was a big part of his childhood, having been first taken to aged three by his brother Ken.This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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