Leslie Grantham ‘secretly battled cancer’ before death aged 71

Little information was given when Leslie Grantham was suddenly admitted to hospital earlier this week, with his rep saying only that he was ‘poorly’ and ‘under the care of doctors’.

But neighbours of the actor claim he had been battling terminal lung cancer and was in the process of getting his affairs in order before he passed away on Friday, June 15. No cause of death has been given.

A painter who did work on the Twickenham house where he was staying claims Leslie appeared to be in a bad way when he last saw him in April.


“He was positive about it all but once you get cancer…

“He was saying he had it. He said he had it and it went but it came back. He didn’t have much on him."

Following his 2013 divorce from wife Jane, Leslie moved to Bulgaria, but is believed to have returned to the UK and been living in a friend’s empty terraced house in the affluent London suburb.


However, the painter says Leslie had to move out when the friend, known as Richard, sold the property to move to Eastbourne.

“When Richard went to Eastbourne Les said he wanted to with him but he said, ‘no you need a hospice,’" he claimed.

“He went over to Bulgaria to sell his flat. He won’t be coming back."

Shop assistant Jancy Kar said Grantham used to buy cigarettes almost everyday from her corner shop but thought he had quit this year.

And a cafe worker at nearby Ches’s said: “He was living at a friend’s house. The guy sold up only this year. We called him Richard.

“Les lived on his own."

He was admitted to hospital after wrapping filming on new film, The Krays: Dead Man Walking.


The star had just finished his scenes as policeman Nipper Read who finally brought the murderous twins to justice in 1968 when he was taken ill, according to the Daily Star.

"He was happy to be home in England and had hoped this was going to put him back in the spotlight. He was ready to return to acting with a bang," a source told the paper.

The film is slated for release on September 10.

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