ICYMI: Another Popular Actor Dies In His Sleep

ICYMI: Another Popular Actor Dies In His Sleep

Former Grange Hill star Nicholas Donnelly has died at the age of 83.

News Rain Nigeria gathered that the actor, who played CDT teacher Mr MacKenzie on the long-running children’s drama, passed away in his sleep according to his family.

In a statement, they said: “He was a gracious, kind and lovely man, a wonderful father and grandfather.

“He was also very funny and brilliant at telling stories, acting out all the characters, marvellous company and a privilege to know. He loved nothing more than offering hospitality and making people feel welcome.”

Donnelly was a popular cast member on Grange Hill for eight seasons between 1985 and 1993 while his other notable TV roles include appearing in over 200 episodes of police drama Dixon of Dock Green between 1961 and 1976.

He also made guest appearances in a number of other popular dramas, with highlights including small roles on The Saint and The Bill, before retiring from acting in 1993 to become a church minister.

 

ICYMI: Another Popular Actor Dies In His Sleep

 

He also appeared in BBC police series Dixon Of Dock Green in 1955 as Sergeant Johnny Wills in around 200 episodes of the programme, which featured Jack Warner in the title role as George Dixon.

In 2015, he was quoted as saying to the Daily Express: “Many of my scenes were with Jack Warner, who played Dixon – particularly as his right-hand man with a fast pair of legs, whenever we had to chase a load of crooks.

The producers allowed me to progress through the ranks to acting sergeant, sergeant and even dog handler.”

Donnelly met his wife Alrun during his National Service in Germany in the late 1950s, and the couple were married for more than 60 years.

They had two sons, twin daughters and five grandchildren.

The actor, who was a Queens Park Rangers fan, grew up in Kensington, and his other TV credits included appearances in The Saint, which starred Roger Moore.

His acting credits extended to the big screen where he starred in films like 1982 horror film Venom and comedy film Carry On Sergeant.

In 1993 he retired to Hastings with his wife, where he was a lay minister at his Catholic Church, St Mary Star of the Sea.

Several of Donnelly’s former Grange Hill co-stars have paid tribute, with Karen Lewis writing: “This is so sad. I worked with him during my time on Grange Hill. He was the most delightful man. A gentleman and a true professional. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP Nicholas.”

Another Grange Hill alum, Ricky Simmonds, added: “Nicholas was a true pro and a lovely man to work with. RIP.”

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