Dennis Waterman dies aged 74: Actor best known for roles in Minder, the Sweeney and New Tricks dies

Dennis Waterman dies aged 74: Actor best known for roles in Minder, the Sweeney and New Tricks passes away at his home in Spain with his wife by his side

  • Minder star Dennis Waterman has died at the age of 74, his family has confirmed
  • Waterman was one of the most popular television actors of the 1970s and 1980s
  • In more recent years, he has starred in BBC’s New Tricks alongside Amanda Redman
  • He died in hospital this afternoon with his wife Pam by his side, his family said

Legendary TV actor Dennis Waterman has died at the age of 74, his family has announced.

Waterman was one of the most popular television actors of the 1970s in the 80s. He starred as bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder and he first found fame as a tough nut cop George Carter in The Sweeney.

In more recent years, he has starred as Gerry Standing in the BBC’s New Tricks, and throughout his career other TV roles included ITV’s Where The Heart Is, The Canterbury Tales and Moses Jones, both for the BBC.

In a statement, his family said he died today in Spain with his wife Pam at his side.

Dennis Waterman, right, was one of the most popular television actors of the 70s and 80s. Pictured here with Minder co-star George Cole

Legendary TV actor Dennis Waterman has died at the age of 74, his family has confirmed.

Legendary TV actor Dennis Waterman has died at the age of 74, his family has confirmed.

Dennis Waterman pictured leaving Reading Crematorium for the funeral of Minder co-star George Cole in 2015

Dennis Waterman pictured leaving Reading Crematorium for the funeral of Minder co-star George Cole in 2015

Waterman with New Tricks co-star Amanda Redmanarriving for the 2007 British British Book Awards

Waterman with New Tricks co-star Amanda Redmanarriving for the 2007 British British Book Awards

They stated: ‘We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Dennis passed away very peacefully at his home in Spain. The family kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time. ‘

Tributes have flooded in as news broke of Waterman’s death.

Producer Jonathan Sothcott tweeted: ‘Dennis Waterman was one of our biggest TV stars throughout the 70s and 80s, an everyman figure who felt like one of us. A naturalistic, nuanced actor.

‘Terrific in The Sweeney, unforgettable in Minder (helluva song too, lampoonery aside). They don’t make ’em like that anymore.’

Actor Stuart Anthony said: ‘Dennis Waterman has left us. What a fantastic talent and lovely man. Such a loss to the industry. RIP. ‘

Newsreader Kay Burley posted: “A brilliant actor who was a staple on our screens throughout the 70s and 80s. Loved The Sweeney. Loved Minder more. ‘

Journalist John Sweeney tweeted: ‘RIP Dennis Waterman. The Sweeney was everything great TV drama should be: gritty, honest, true. ‘

Dennis Waterman (right) pictured with fellow London cast members of My Fair Lady, Martine McCutcheon and Jonathan Pryce, making a special appearance at HMV in London's Oxford Street

Dennis Waterman (right) pictured with fellow London cast members of My Fair Lady, Martine McCutcheon and Jonathan Pryce, making a special appearance at HMV in London’s Oxford Street

Dennis Waterman and his wife Pam Flint arriving at Reading Crematorium for the funeral of George Cole in 2015

Dennis Waterman and his wife Pam Flint arriving at Reading Crematorium for the funeral of George Cole in 2015

Dennis Waterman (left) and George Cole (right) with Chris Routh during the filming of Minder in 1985

Dennis Waterman (left) and George Cole (right) with Chris Routh during filming of Minder in 1985

Dennis Waterman (left) and with Minder co-star George Cole at the TV Times magazine's awards ceremony in 1985 at the height of the show's success

Dennis Waterman (left) and with Minder co-star George Cole at the TV Times magazine’s awards ceremony in 1985 at the height of the show’s success

Waterman (center) pictured with Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams for a special Comic Relief performance in 2006

Waterman (center) pictured with Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams for a special Comic Relief performance in 2006

Waterman was caricatured on Little Britain by actor David Walliams and made a surprising guest appearance with Walliams and co-star Matt Lucas at the Comic Relief in 2006.

Actor Matt Lucas tweeted: ‘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.’

Waterman was married four times and had two daughters with second wife Patricia Maynard, one of whom is former EastEnders actress Hannah Waterman – who later played his daughter in New Tricks.

He attracted headlines when he split up with Maynard in 1987 and married actress Rula Lenska, but the marriage fell apart after ten years amid claims of abuse. In 2012, Waterman attracted controversy in an interview by stating: ‘She certainly wasn’t a beaten wife, she was hit and that’s different.’

Waterman married his fourth wife Pam Flint in 2011, after being friends for many years and they remained together until his death.

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