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New Tricks, the Sweeney and Minder star Dennis Waterman dies aged 74
8 May 2022, 16:18 | Updated: 8 May 2022, 20:05
New Tricks, the Sweeney and Minder actor Dennis Waterman has died aged 74.
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The actor passed away on Sunday afternoon with his wife Pam by his side, his family said.
He had a full career spanning 60 years, working across TV, film and theatre.
The star was best known for his role as bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder after finding fame as cop George Carter in the Sweeney opposite John Thaw.
He became one of Britain's most popular TV stars in the 1970s and 1980s as a result.
Waterman went on to appear in the comedies On the Up and Stay Lucky as well as taking on another popular role as cockney detective Gerry Standing in New Tricks between 2003 and 2015.
He was also a musician and sung the title tunes for Minder, New Tricks, On the Up and Stay Lucky.
A family statement read: "We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Dennis, passed away very peacefully in hospital in Spain."
They added: "The family kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time."
Waterman initially worked for the Children's Film Foundation and was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company aged only 12.
The actor had two daughters, actress Hannah Waterman - known for playing Laura Beale in EastEnders - and Julia Waterman.
He was married four times, including to actors Patricia Maynard and Rula Lenska. He went on to marry Pam Flint in 2011.
Tributes poured in from his former co-stars and fans following the announcement.
Matt Lucas, who worked with him on Little Britain, said: "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."
Actor and writer Reece Shearsmith, who worked with Waterman on New Tricks, 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'."
Actor Stuart Antony tweeted: "Dennis Waterman has left us. What a fantastic talent and lovely man. Such a loss to the industry. RIP"
Paddy McGuinness said 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."