Minder star Dennis Waterman dies aged 74
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Dennis Waterman died yesterday at their home in Spain with his wife Pam by his side. The New Tricks star, who was best known for his landmark TV roles in Minder and The Sweeney, had been married to Pam since 2011 – but the actor had a turbulent love life.
Dennis first became friends with Pam in 1996 while he was still married to his third wife, actress Rula Lenska.
Before Pam, Dennis was married three times – first to Penny Dixon (1967–1976), then to Patricia Maynard ( 1977–1987), and lastly, to Rula (1987–1998).
The road to his marriage with his beloved wife had been quite rocky.
His first marriage was to Penny Dixon, who he dated for a year before they got married in 1972 but the marriage lasted four years before the couple divorced in 1976.
Just a year later, Dennis married actress Patricia Maynard, who he had two daughters with.
One of his daughters is actress Hannah Waterman, best known for her role as Ian Beale’s tragic wife Laura in EastEnders.
The same year he divorced Patricia, Dennis married Rula Lenska and the marriage lasted 11 years until 1998.
He addressed their turbulent romance on Pier’s Morgan’s Life Stories after claims of violence in their marriage but he shared she was “never beaten”.
Following their divorce, he found love with Pam after his three failed marriages.
Reflecting on their relationship in 2006, Pam described the “total love” Dennis had for her after she underwent life-saving surgery for bladder cancer.
She said: “Dennis has never made me feel that it has made the slightest difference to him. All I ever see in his eyes is total love.”
Dennis’ acting career spanned six decades after starting with childhood roles in film and theatre.
Later in life, Dennis began to land parts on TV, film and in the West End.
During his career, Dennis worked on a wide range of roles, which included everything from horror to comedy and drama to sports.
The actor appeared in a total of 29 films throughout his lifetime.
Dennis’ family confirmed his death yesterday in a statement.
The statement read: “We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Dennis, passed away very peacefully at home.”
“The family kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time,” it concluded.
Dennis was survived by his wife and children, Hannah and Julia Waterman.
Following the news of his passing, fans of the actor took to Twitter to pay tribute.
Broadcaster Kay Burley wrote: “RIP Dennis Waterman. A brilliant actor who was a staple on our screens throughout the 70s and 80s. Loved The Sweeney. Loved Minder more. He was 74.
“My apologies for using the incorrect first name for Dennis in a previous tweet which I have deleted.”
Comedian Paddy McGuinness added: “Myself and my Phoenix Nights castmates 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.”
Twitter user Barry__Calder said: “When you see things as a kid that are so awesome and heavily influence your life/career. RIP Dennis Waterman. Regan and Carter are back together again.”
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