Bill Treacher, who is best known for playing Arthur Fowler in EastEnders, has died aged 92.
Treacher died late on Saturday night after suffering declining health for some time, his family said. The star was one of the first actors cast in the BBC One soap starring on it from February 1985 until 1996.
A statement from his family said: "The family of the actor Bill Treacher are sad to announce that Bill died late Saturday night, 5 November 2022. He was 92 years old and his health had been declining for some time. He was much loved by his wife, Kate, his son, Jamie and his daughter, Sophie.
"Bill was a brilliant actor and a wonderful husband and father, plus a very fine human being. He will be hugely missed.
"The family respectfully request privacy at this time."
An EastEnders spokesperson said: "It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Bill Treacher. As one of our original cast members, Bill created a much loved character in Arthur Fowler and, alongside Wendy Richard, they created an iconic family in the Fowlers who still remain at the heart of the show.
"Bill left EastEnders in 1996 so it is a true testament to both he, and the character that he created in Arthur, that he is still thought of so fondly. Bill will always be remembered for his charm, sense of humour - with a smile that lit up the room - and more importantly as a family man who was devoted to his wife and children. Bill will forever be held in great affection by everyone at EastEnders and all those that loved watching him."
His co-stars Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale, and Letitia Dean, who plays Sharon Watts, were among those paying tribute. Taylforth said she had "so many happy memories of Bill", adding: "He always had a sparkle in his eyes, usually before he mischievously set us off laughing during scenes."
Dean added: "Bill really was the life and soul of the set. As an actor, he was meticulous and he went to great lengths to portray Arthur, from the smallest scenes to the heartbreaking stories. Bill was an utter professional, a wonderful man.
Former EastEnders star, Adam Woodyatt, said: "So many memories of working with Bill, most of them involving him making us corpse. He would get this twinkle in his eye, you'd start laughing and he never got the blame. I used to love it when he was trying to remember his lines in rehearsal and he would just blunder and bluster until the correct word came out."
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