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Former Emmerdale star Johnny Leeze passes away aged 78

The actor starred on the show from 1994 to 2000

Emmy Griffiths

Johnny Leeze, who previously played Ned Glover in Emmerdalehas sadly passed away aged 78, his family have confirmed. The actor, who starred in the soap from 1994 to 2000, died after being tested positive for COVID-19, alongside underlying health conditions.

READ: In memoriam: the celebrities who have passed away in 2020

His daughter Holly also confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack a fortnight before his death. She told The Daily Star: "He was my friend, he was such a strong, strong man. He was such a great guy, a really funny guy. He was loved by everybody really. Even by his ex-wife, who is with me today, my mum."

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Johnny played Ned in Emmerdale

She continued: "I don't know what else to say. I'm numb, I just can't get my head round it at the minute. I want to say so much more about him but I just don't know what to say." Posting on Twitter, his brother Phillip added: "It is with deep regret to inform you all my brother John passed away this morning. A lot of you will remember him as Ned Glover in Emmerdale, or comedian Johnny Leeze on the club scene.

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"He had Covid, and underlying health issues. He made thousands laugh. He will be missed greatly by us all. Rest in Peace John. Your loving brother Phil, and sisters, Pam & Sheila. I know you will have them all in stitches up there. Fly high on angels wings."

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He played Ned from 1994 to 2000 

His co-star Dominic Brunt also paid tribute, tweeting: "RIP Johnny Leeze. My flatmate when I arrived in @emmerdale in 1997. Old school and wayward but full of good advice. The funniest stories attached to this fella. Non-repeatable here I’m afraid." Dean Andrews added: "Very very sad to hear my old mate and former @emmerdale legend Johnny Leeze [passed] away today. I first worked with him in 1983 and he gave me lots of encouragement and advice. Great entertainer and a cracking bloke." 

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