Actor John Forgeham has died at the age of 75.
He was best known for his work in Footballers’ Wives, in which he played Frank Laslett.
His friend, the scriptwriter Simon Golding, paid tribute to John, tweeting: “So very sad to hear today the loss of my good friend, actor John Forgeham. A larger-than-life character & such a powerful actor. RIP John x.”
The star fell from his bed and broke his collarbone on Wednesday night and was later rushed to hospital after suffering an internal bleed.
He died at 2.30pm on Friday, his daughter Jonesta confirmed today.
The granddad-of-five, who lived in Worthing, East Sussex, was best-known for his role playing Frank Laslett in the hit ITV series Footballers’ Wives.
He also starred in films including The Italian Job and Crossroads and dramas including Doctors, The Bill and Casualty.
His devastated daughter Jonesta Forgeham, 45, said: “Dad was a very talented actor and a charismatic and wonderful man.
“We had a close relationship and I was the person who looked after him.
“He would want to be remembered as this wonderful actor. He lived and breathed acting.”
She added: “It is still very raw. It is a shock because he died suddenly. We’re all in shock.
“He had a fall on Wednesday night and called me on Friday morning to say he wasn’t very well.
“He was rushed to hospital and he had some sort of burst inside – something ruptured. There was blood everywhere.”
Forgeham was born in Kidderminster, West Midlands, on May 14 1941.
He got into acting after joining an amateur dramatics group while working at a factory and later won a scholarship to prestigious acting school RADA.
His death – which is being treated as unexplained awaiting a postmortem – follows a four-year battle with mental health issues, his family said.
After Footballers’ Wives stopped running in 2006, he struggled to get work and fell into a deep depression and would sit in his flat “staring at the wall”.
The reformed alcoholic’s physical health also deteriorated as he battled mobility problems and breathing difficulties and he moved into a care home.
But his daughter says in the past year he had been making a recovery and was moved by social workers to a flat where he lived by himself.
Jonesta said: “He hasn’t been doing much since Footballers’ Wives. He fell into depression as he didn’t get much work.
“He got very depressed. He stared at a wall for four years.
“He had psychotic tendencies and was put under section. He spent a year in a mental institution.
“When he came out, social services dumped him back in his house and they left him there to rot.
“He wasn’t paying his mortgage because he was ill and they were going to repossess his house.
“They sold his house and put the money in the bank because he wasn’t mentally fit and he moved to an old people’s home.
“Then all of a sudden he snapped out of it about a year ago and he was moved into a flat.”
She said as well as his inability to find work, a newspaper story which exposed him as a “sleazy web cam pervert” left him down in the dumps.
Jonesta said: “He didn’t get much work after that.”
She added that acting was his life and said: “Not being able to act contributed to his depression.
“He was troubled most of his life and he struggled with going up and down, but he lived and breathed acting.”