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EastEnders and Lovejoy star passes away after cancer diagnosis

Dudley played Wilfred Atkins in the BBC soap

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Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
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EastEnders and Lovejoy actor Dudley Sutton has died at the age of 85. The star's representative confirmed the sad news on Sunday, revealing the actor passed away peacefully at the Royal Trinity Hospice in London after he was diagnosed with cancer. He was surrounded by his family, who have since released a message via the Guardian: "Today we're devastated by the loss of our beautiful Dudley, who leaves a gaping hole in all our lives."

dudley sutton© Photo: Getty Images

Dudley Sutton passed away on Saturday

The family added: "We're grateful for the love expressed by friends and fans everywhere and for the extraordinary care he received at the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London, where he went out fighting for our NHS." Dudley was famous for having a small role as conman Wilfred Atkins in BBC soap Eastenders. He also starred as Tinker Dill in BBC comedy Lovejoy, which aired between 1986 and 1994, and had roles in TV shows such as Holby City, Skins and Porridge.

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Former co-stars and friends have since taken to social media to pay tribute to the late actor. Lovejoy actor Chris Jury, who played Eric Catchpole in the beloved series, tweeted: "My dear, dear pal. Dudley Sutton died today. I loved him dearly. Condolences to Fanny, Peter, Barnaby, Wally and Jacqueline and all the rest of his family... and of course his extended family amongst the friends of Bill W. Love you Duds." Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp wrote: "Farewell Dudley Sutton. One of our greats and a charming man. Another one of Joan Littlewood's brood of amazing actors leaves us." Inbetweeners actress Emily Atack said: "So sad to hear Dudley Sutton has passed. Such a hilarious, warm, talented man who I'm so honoured to have worked with. Sending love to his family who he spoke of always."