Leslie Grantham

Last updated 08 February 2020

Leslie Grantham (1947-2018)
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Leslie Michael Grantham

Born: Wednesday 30th April 1947
Died: Friday 15th June 2018 (age: 71)


Grantham was born in Camberwell, London. At the age of 15 he enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers regiment of the British Army, but in 1966 he attempted to rob a German taxi driver, Felix Reese, in which the driver suffered a fatal gunshot. Though claiming he didn't know the gun was loaded, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in the UK.

During his time in prison Grantham he acted in several plays and was then encouraged to take up acting by actress Louise Jameson during a visit she made to Leyhill where he resided, and they later became good friends.

Training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art after his release in 1977, his first meaty role on television was to be Kiston in Doctor Who; however, his breakthrough into fame came when he appeared in the premiere of Eastenders in 1985 as Den Watts, a character that quickly gained infamy through plots involving his tempestuous relationship with wife Angie - whose Christmas 1986 episode received record-breaking audiences - and the notable teenage pregnancy plotline. He left the show in 1989 - allegedly shot - but returned again in 2003 until he was finally killed off in 2005 following a reported scandal at the BBC.

Other roles have included Danny Kane in The Paradise Club (alongside Don Henderson), The Uninvited (that he also produced), and The Stretch. He has also played the role Private Walker in the stage adaptation of Dad's Army.