Legendary Eastenders actor Leonard Fenton dies aged 95
"He was a charming man in all ways - extremely polite and kind."
Actor Leonard Fenton has died at the age of 95.
He was best known for his role as Dr Harold Legg in the BBC soap Eastenders.
His family issued a statement confirming the news on Monday.
"The family of the actor Leonard Fenton are heartbroken to announce his death at the age of 95 on Saturday January 29th," they wrote.
"Best known for his role as Dr Legg on EastEnders, Leonard’s acting career spanned more than 60 years.
"He worked in TV and film and his long stage career included time at the National Theatre and most recently the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Dr Harold Legg. An #EastEnders icon from the very first episode. Here’s to Leonard Fenton for his wonderful presence over the decades. #EastEnders pic.twitter.com/8Fx8V5LJmQ
— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) February 15, 2019
"He felt privileged to have worked with some of the greats of the theatre, including Samuel Beckett, Orson Welles and Jonathan Miller.
“His passion for painting and singing pre-dated his acting career and was equally as important to him. He will be missed beyond words by his family.
"We feel incredibly lucky to have been able to be with him as his health worsened towards the end – a privilege denied to so many during these tough times.”
An spokesperson for Eastenders added:
“We are deeply saddened to hear that Leonard has passed away. Since appearing in the very first episode of EastEnders, Leonard created a truly iconic character in Doctor Legg who will always be remembered. Our love and thoughts are with Leonard’s family and friends.”
Fenton appeared in the very first episode of EastEnders in February 1985, with his last scenes airing in 2019.
He starred in a total of 267 episodes of the long-running show.
His character was a close friend of Dot Cotton, played by June Brown, dealing with her hypochondriac tendencies over the years.
Brown has paid tribute to the "charming man".
"I first met Leonard as Dr Legg when I joined the cast of EastEnders as Dot, his hypochondriac patient, in 1985.
"He was a charming man in all ways, first as a person and then as an actor, extremely polite and kind. I enjoyed working with him enormously for many years and missed him when he retired.
"I was glad that I'd been with him for his last scene with Dot at his bedside and my thoughts are with his devoted family."