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Much-loved Emmerdale actor Freddie Jones dies

This is sad...

Diane Shipley

Emmerdale star Freddie Jones has died, his agent confirmed in a statement on Wednesday. "It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of Freddie Jones," said Lesley Duff. "He passed away on the evening of July 9 after a short illness. Freddie was a much loved and admired actor, known for his triumphs in classical theatre, film, and television. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him and most especially his family."

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Freddie played Ashley Thomas' father Sandy on the show 

The actor, who played Sandy Thomas in the soap from 2005 to 2018, was 91. He was part of some dramatic storylines in his time on the show, including the death of his character's son, Ashley Thomas, and ITV bosses were keen to keep him, as he revealed to the Radio Times last year. He told the magazine that he had been offered a new contract by the show that would have seen him continue the role until at least 2019.

But he wanted to keep his options open, explaining, "The company generously offered me another 12 months. But I just thought, I have no idea what I'm going to do in another year!" He went on: "The drama that Ashley's death gave me last year was monumental. But that's gone now." He also shared that it was hard work and hinted that he might want to put his feet up and have a better work-life balance in the time he had left, going on to say, "I travel three hours by car, book into a hotel and then get up the next day to say maybe three sentences."

He was a regular on the show from 2005 to 2018 following a long career in TV and film

Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, he used to work as a lab assistant for the British Ceramic Research Association before transitioning to a career in acting. He was cast in American director David Lynch's films The Elephant Man, Dune, and Wild at Heart as well as popping up in classic British shows like Heartbeat, Midsomer Murders and Casualty.

READ MORE: Emmerdale to welcome new member of the Dingle family 

He had three children, including Toby Jones, 52, who followed in his father's footsteps into acting, starring in Doctor Who, The Detectorists and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, among other credits.

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