Heartbeat actor Bill Maynard has died after falling off his mobility scooter, his family have confirmed today.
The actor, best known for playing mischievous Claude Greengrass in the television series, broke his hip during the fall and later died in a hospital in Leicestershire.
Today, his family paid tribute to the “larger than life” character, who was 89, the Mirror Online reports .
His daughter- in-law Jacqueline Reddin told the Press Association: “He was larger than life and he just loved showbiz.
“He was so proud of the fact that he had been working for 81 years. He leaves a son and daughter, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.”
The actor, whose real name was Walter Williams, had suffered with health problems in recent years and was using a wheelchair after having several strokes.
He made a cameo in BBC series The Moorside last year, saying it was to prove he was still alive after a radio station mistakenly announced his death four years ago.
Talented singer Bill made his TV debut in 1953, and later went on to sing a cover of Lionel Richie’s hit Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady – even releasing an album back in 2013.
He said at the time: “I hope that the album will bring a lot of joy to people because of the poetry and emotion that the lyrics of the songs contain.”
In 1957, near the start of a long and varied career, he came in fourth place in the British heat of the Eurovision Song Contest.