Emmy GriffithsWe are paying tribute to our favourite actors on the hit show Heartbeat who are very sadly no longer with us
Heartbeat is just as loved now as it was when it premiered for the first time back in 1992, and is currently being enjoyed by fans on ITV3. The series ended in 2010, and very sadly some of the original cast members have passed away in the years since, but will never be forgotten. Take a look through the gallery to celebrate our favourite stars of the series who are no longer with us...
Derek, who played Sergeant Oscar Blaketon, was a much-loved character who remained a staple part of the show for all 18 series. As well as his long running role in Heartbeat as Oscar Blaketon, Derek was known for his other TV work including Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister as Bernard Wolley, and as Mr Derek in The Basil Brush Show from 1969 until 1973.
In January 2020, the actor was battling pneumonia at the Royal United Hospital in Bath when he suffered complications from heart failure and sepsis which sadly took his life at the age of 82.
Bill played the cheeky Claude Greengrass from seasons one to ten. In the show, he would always be getting into trouble by poaching game from other farms. The actor left the series due to ill health, but he reprised the role in The Royal. Bill passed away aged 89 in 2018 from injuries sustained from a mobility scooter accident.
Geoffrey is perhaps best known for playing Eddie Yeats in Coronation Street, as well as Twiggy in The Royal Family, but he also played Vernon Scripps in seasons ten to 14, and again in season 16, on Heartbeat. Vernon is a businessman who is always trying new schemes to make it to the big time. He eventually discovers a very expensive piece of modern art, which he loses after investing in an oil tanker which becomes lost at sea. Geoffrey was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996, and died from the illness in 2012.
Frank played the kindly country doctor Dr Alex Ferrenby in seasons one to three, and helps Kate to become a doctor. In the show, he sustains a head injury and, as a result, falls into a river and drowns, leaving the village shocked by his death. The actor was also well known for appearing in To Serve Them All My Days and As Time Goes By. He passed away aged 87 back in 2006.
Stuart starred as George, the landlord of the Aisdensfield Arms from seasons one to six. George, who was also Gina's uncle, could be quick to anger, but was generally a warmhearted character who was well-loved in the village. George was also well known for playing Ernie Wagstaff in Coronation Street, and passed away in 2003.
William played PC Alf Ventress, a much-loved character who was a staple part of the show. His character was an old-timer who was known for his extensive knowledge on the local area and neighbourhood. Alf was the longest serving officer for much of the drama, often in a role as acting sergeant when Blaketon, Craddock and Merton were absent. Very sadly, William passed away in June 2019.
Although the cause of his death is not known, his agent confirmed the news in a statement, writing: "I confirm the extremely sad news that the actor William Simons has passed away. He was a wonderful, kind, warm, witty, lovely human being and anyone who ever worked with him or knew him will be devastated."