Dennis Waterman dead: Minder and New Tricks star dies aged 74

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Dennis Waterman

Dennis Waterman has died aged 74 (Picture: Rex)

Dennis Waterman, star of iconic series like Minder and New Tricks, has died aged 74.

The legendary actor, whose career spanned 60 years, died on Sunday afternoon with his wife Pam by his side.

A statement said: ‘We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Dennis passed away very peacefully in hospital in Spain, on Sunday afternoon, with Pam by his side.

‘The family kindly asks that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.’

Waterman, who had varied roles in comedy, drama, and horror, found fame as a teenager in BBC drama William and became well known for his role as tough-nut cop, Detective Sergeant George Carter, opposite John Thaw in ITV’s police drama The Sweeney .

He went on to star as bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder, and landed a long-running role as Gerry Standing in New Tricks from 2003 to 2015.

File photo dated 02/19/85 of Minder stars, Dennis Waterman (left) and George Cole with the Editor's Special Award for the program at the TV Times magazine's awards ceremony.  Dennis Waterman, who starred in TV shows including The Sweeney, Minder and New Tricks, has died at the age of 74. Issue date: Sunday May 8, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story DEATH Waterman.  Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire

He starred in Minder alongside George Cole (Picture: PA)

File photo dated 11/26/85 of Minder stars, Dennis Waterman (left) and George Cole (right) with Chris Routh.  Dennis Waterman, who starred in TV shows including The Sweeney, Minder and New Tricks, has died at the age of 74. Issue date: Sunday May 8, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story DEATH Waterman.  Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire

His career spanned 60 years (Picture: PA)

Waterman also starred in ITV’s Where The Heart Is, The Canterbury Tales and Moses Jones.

The star was also known for singing the iconic theme tune for New Tricks and Minder.

He was also an accomplished actor in the film world, starring in 29 films, most recently in 2020.

John Thaw & Dennis Waterman

He starred alongside John Thaw in Sweeney (Picture: Getty Images)

Dennis Waterman and daughter Hannah

He’s survived by his daughters, including Hannah, who’s an EastEnders actress (Picture: Avalon/Getty Images)

Waterman was married four times – first to Penny Dixon from 1967 to 1976, then to Patricia Maynard, from 1977 to 1987.

He was later married to Ruth Lenska, from 1987 to 1998, and finally to Pam Flint, who he tied the knot with in 2011.

Waterman is survived by his two daughters, one of whom is EastEnders actress Hannah Waterman, who played Laura Beale.

Tributes have poured in, with Matt Lucas saying: ‘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.’

Paddy McGuinness added: ‘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.’

Newsreader Kay Burley added: ‘RIP Dennis Waterman. A brilliant actor who was a staple on our screens throughout the 70s and 80s. He loved The Sweeney. He loved Minder more. He was 74.’

Actor Reece Shearsmith said: ‘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”.’

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.’

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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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