Leslie Grantham's last days REVEALED by castmate on his final project


It was announced on Friday that EastEnders icon Leslie Grantham had died at 71.

The TV star, who had played Dirty Den in the long-running soap, had been battling terminal cancer.

He had recently relocated to Bulgaria, but had returned to the UK for treatment.

Before he passed away he had starred in Brit flick The Krays: Dead Man Walking, which is due to be released later this year.

Leslie Grantham has passed away GETTY

TV STAR: Leslie Grantham has passed away

Soap star passed away aged 71 GETTY

DIRTY DEN: Soap star passed away aged 71

“We knew it was going to be his final film”

Janine Nerissa

Leslie hoped that the project, which focused on East End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray, would be his big comeback, however that sadly wasn’t to be the case.

Daily Star Online spoke with actress Janine Nerissa, who worked with Leslie on The Krays film, about what it was like to perform alongside the soap star.

Speaking about her time with Leslie, Janine revealed: “It was an honour. I grew up watching him as Dirty Den and he was a fantastic actor and massive star.

“I have met some amazing actors in the last year – Lee Majors and Ian Ogilvy for example, and to me Leslie was just as big a star as them.”

She added: “On set he was quiet and humble and enjoyed bantering with Chris Ellison and Nick Ball. I was helping out on set and got him lunch and drove him to set. My daughter Grace has a little part in the film and he was so sweet and nice to her. He really was a gentleman.”

Janine also divulged that it was clear he was in ill health while shooting the movie.

She divulged: “He was very frail and gaunt but he was the ultimate professional. It was freezing cold in Highgate Woods but he never once complained. We knew it would be his last film and he was great in it.”

Since working with Leslie on the gangster flick, Janine revealed that she hadn’t spoken with the star again ahead of him passing.

Janine Nerissa reveals all about Leslie Grantham's final days INSTAGRAM/ JANINE NERISSA

SPEAKING OUT: Janine Nerissa reveals all about Leslie Grnatham’s final days

Jonathan Sothcott wanted to work again with Leslie Grantham INSTAGRAM/ JANINE NERISSA

NEW PROJECT: Jonathan Sothcott wanted to work again with Leslie Grantham

She said: “I haven’t seen him since the film and I’m so sad he’s dead – I was looking forward to seeing him at the premiere.”

Janine, who is dating movie producer Jonathan Sothcott, revealed that she had kept in touch with Leslie and had “wanted to talk to him about a new project, but then he fell ill”.

Speaking about the director – Richard Taylor, Janine added: “[He] was our link to Les as they were very close right up to the end. Richard doted on him.”

As well as The Krays: Dead Man Walking, Janine will also be starring in We Still Die The Old Way, which she will begin filming this summer.

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