BBC EastEnders’ Dot Cotton icon June Brown leads tribute as co-star Leonard Fenton dies at 95

EastEnders star Leonard Fenton has died at the age of 95.

The actor will be best known to loyal fans of BBC One soap operas for playing Walford’s much-loved GP, Dr. Harold Legg.

He appeared in the first episode of EastEnders in February 1985 and his last scenes aired in 2019.

A statement from his family confirmed the sad news.

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It read: “The family of actor Leonard Fenton is heartbroken to announce his death at the age of 95 on Saturday, January 29. Best known for his role as Dr. Legg on EastEnders, Leonard’s acting career has spanned more than 60 years.

“He worked in television and film, and his long stage career included time at the National Theater and, more recently, the Royal Shakespeare Company. He felt privileged to have worked with some of the theater’s greats, including Samuel Beckett, Orson Welles and Jonathan Miller.

“His passion for painting and singing predates his acting career and was equally important to him. His family will miss him beyond words.”

“We feel incredibly lucky to have been able to be with him when his health took a turn for the worse towards the end, a privilege denied to so many during these trying times.”

An EastEnders spokesperson added: “We are deeply saddened to hear that Leonard has passed away.

“Since appearing in the first episode of EastEnders, Leonard created a truly iconic character in Doctor Legg who will always be remembered.

“Our love and thoughts go out to Leonard’s family and friends.”

He appeared in a total of 267 episodes of EastEnders, with viewers last saying goodbye to his character in 2019.

The character was a close friend of Dot Cotton, played by the legendary June Brown, while entertaining her hypochondria and seemingly endless list of ailments.

EastEnders actress June has paid tribute to her co-star.

Leonard with EastEnders icon June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton

Brown played Dot Cotton, who was a regular patient of Dr. Legg’s on the soap opera.

She said in a statement: “I met Leonard as Dr. Legg when I joined the cast of EastEnders as Dot, his hypochondriac patient, in 1985. He was a charming man in every way, first as a person and then as an actor.” extremely polite and friendly.

“I greatly enjoyed working with him for many years and missed him when he retired. I was glad to have been with him for his last scene with Dot at his bedside and my thoughts are with his devoted family.”

Other cast members have also remembered Fenton, with Natalie Cassidy, who plays Sonia Fowler, saying, “I had the pleasure of working with Leonard. He was absolutely charming, constantly joking with me and loving to talk about his past.

“I am honored that our paths have crossed. My thoughts are with her family at this sad time.”

Cathy Beale actress Gillian Taylforth said: “I am so sorry to hear such sad news about Leonard. He was a lovely, lovely, very kind man and always told the most wonderful stories. I send my love and condolences to his family.” RIP dear Leonard.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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