Grange Hill actor Lee Whitlock dies aged 54

British actor also starred in Sweeney Todd with Johnny Depp

Lee Whitlock in 1985's Shine on Harvey Moon. (ITV/Shutterstock)
Lee Whitlock in 1985's Shine on Harvey Moon. (ITV/Shutterstock)

Grange Hill actor Lee Whitlock has died aged 54, his agents confirmed on 20 February.

Announcing his death, agency Urban Collective said: "Saddened by the death of our client Lee Whitlock. Lee was a great character & a great actor who has left a legacy of brave & groundbreaking work achieved at a particularly young age."

They added: "Lee was hugely entertaining, funny & positive to work with, condolences to family & friends. RIP."

The agency announced no cause of death.

Former star of The Bill and Coronation Street Andrew Lancel paid tribute to him on Twitter: "I was always a fan of Lee Whitlock since Shine on Harvey Moon. Through his film and tv career I loved his work as did millions. It was a joy to work with him twice and to know him as a funny, gentle, lovely man. And fantastic actor. Gone far too soon."

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The British actor initially emerged as a child star in the 1980's before going on to appear as Bevis Loveday in Grange Hill.

Lee Whitlock (c) stood between Colin Salmon and Nigel Planer in a promotional still for Shine on Harvey Moon. (Alamy)

His initial breakout role was in Shine on Harvey Moon, the Marks and Gran sitcom about an RAF serviceman who returns home to the East End after the Second World War. The series starred Pauline Quirke, Kenneth Cranham and Linda Robson.

Whitlock next appeared in journalism drama Hold the Back Page alongside David Warner and Game of Thrones actor David Horovitch but the series only ran for 10 episodes.

Whitlock also played Sydney Chaplin, the younger brother of Charlie Chaplin in limited series Young Charlie Chaplin in 1989 before enjoying guest roles in some of Britain's most popular shows including A Touch of Frost, Soldier Soldier and Lovejoy.

More recently, the actor has appeared in various films such as Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream and Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd musical which also featured Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter.

Before his death, Whitlock had appeared in British crime film Rise of the Footsoldier 3: The Pat Tate Story and his last credit was sci-fi film D is for Detroit.

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