Local soap star dies aged 78

Local soap star dies aged 78

Local soap star dies aged 78

Cleethorpes’ own soap star Johnny Leeze has died aged 78 after testing positive for coronavirus.

The actor was best known for playing Harry Clayton in Coronation Street for a few months in 1985, and as Ned Glover in Emmerdale from 1994 to 1999. He appeared again in 2000, before leaving shortly afterwards.

A well-known and popular resident of the Grimsby area for many years, the Daily Star reported yesterday (Sunday) that he had died after testing positive for coronavirus and also suffered from underlying health conditions.

His devastated daughter Holly confirmed the news, telling Daily Star Online that he had been ill for two weeks and had tested positive for Covid the day before he died.

She also revealed that he suffered a heart attack on the morning of his death and had been taken into hospital.

Paying tribute to her father, Holly said: “He was my friend, he was such a strong, strong man.

“He was such a great guy, a really funny guy. He was loved by everybody really. Even by his ex-wife, who is with me today, my mum.”

Tributes have since poured in for the beloved soap star on social media, including one from veteran comedian Roy Chubby Brown, who also lives in the Grimsby area.

He wrote: “Very sad to hear the news of the death of a very good friend of mine Johnny Leeze.

Johnny died after contracting covid, we had some great times on holiday together, he was also in League of Gentlemen, l was at his wedding too, very sad news.

“Thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Johnny’s list of screen appearances dates back to 1982, when he made his television debut in the sitcom Open All Hours as a bit part. He also appeared on the long-running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine on four occasions, playing a different character each time.

His other television credits include appearances in Play for Today, Juliet Bravo, All Creatures Great and Small, Heartbeat and Cracker.

In 2000 he appeared as Inspector Cox in five episodes of The League of Gentlemen. Later he appeared in Phoenix Nights, Doctors, Early Doors, The Royal and most recently a 2007 appearance in Life on Mars.

Johnny’s brother Philip said that the late star “made thousands laugh” and that “he will be missed greatly by us all”.

He wrote: “It is with deep regret to inform you all my brother John passed away this morning. A lot of you will remember him as Ned Glover in Emmerdale, or comedian Johnny Leeze, on the club scene.

“He had Covid, and underlying health issues. He made thousands laugh. He will be missed greatly by us all.”



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