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Maurice Roëves dead: Doctor Who and EastEnders star dies aged 83

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The Sweeney and EastEnders star Maurice Roeves has died at the age of 83, his agent announced today.

The Scottish actor, who was born in Sunderland and starred in The Sweeney and EastEnders, was confirmed to have passed away by Lovett Logan Associates.

His wife of 19 years Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson said that he had been in ill health for some time.

A statement from his agents said: ‘It is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of our wonderful client #MauriceRoeves.

‘Maurice had a hugely successful career in both theatre and screen which spanned several decades, starting in his home country of Scotland and moving to London and the United States.

‘He was loved by his legions of fans for many of his performances, including Vince Diver in Tutti Frutti, Stotz in Doctor Who, a Romulan captain in Star Trek and Colonel Edmund Munro in The Last Of The Mohicans.

‘Maurice loved nothing more than being on set with his fellow actors and worked right up until the end, recently being seen in the BBC series The Nest at the start of this year.

‘As well as being a truly dedicated and gifted actor, he was also a real gentleman and a delight to have as a client. We will miss him greatly and our thoughts and love go out to Vanessa and his family.’ 

Maurice Roeves (pictured left with Phil Mitchell in EastEnders) has died at the age of 83, his agent has said

Maurice Roeves (pictured left with Phil Mitchell in EastEnders) has died at the age of 83, his agent has said

Maurice Roeves (pictured left with Phil Mitchell in EastEnders) has died at the age of 83, his agent has said

The Scottish actor (left in The Damned United), who was born in Sunderland, was confirmed to have passed away by acting agents Lovett Logan Associates

The Scottish actor (left in The Damned United), who was born in Sunderland, was confirmed to have passed away by acting agents Lovett Logan Associates

The Scottish actor (left in The Damned United), who was born in Sunderland, was confirmed to have passed away by acting agents Lovett Logan Associates

Legendary actor Roeves also starred in The Last Of The Mohicans (pictured above)

Legendary actor Roeves also starred in The Last Of The Mohicans (pictured above)

Legendary actor Roeves also starred in The Last Of The Mohicans (pictured above)

Roeves (pictured in 2011), whose career spanned 60 years, played Vince Diver in Tutti Frutti, the mercenary Stotz in the classic series of Doctor Who and Colonel Munro in Michael Mann's big screen version of The Last Of The Mohicans, and was most recently seen in the BBC drama The Nest

Roeves (pictured in 2011), whose career spanned 60 years, played Vince Diver in Tutti Frutti, the mercenary Stotz in the classic series of Doctor Who and Colonel Munro in Michael Mann's big screen version of The Last Of The Mohicans, and was most recently seen in the BBC drama The Nest

Roeves (pictured in 2011), whose career spanned 60 years, played Vince Diver in Tutti Frutti, the mercenary Stotz in the classic series of Doctor Who and Colonel Munro in Michael Mann’s big screen version of The Last Of The Mohicans, and was most recently seen in the BBC drama The Nest

Roeves was often cast in hard man and villain roles during his mammoth 60-year career.

He played the dashing Phil Deacon in an episode of the TV police drama The Sweeney in 1975, before taking on the brutish character Geoff in EastEnders in 2003.

As the alcoholic father of Kate Morton, Roeves donned a pair of braces and no nonsense attitude as he oversaw his daughter’s wedding to Phil Mitchell.

Perhaps his most famous role was as Colonel Munro in the 1992 version adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans.

In it his character mirrors the life of the real Colonel Munro, who was a British Army officer who led the defence of Fort William Henry during the French and Indian War.

He starred next to Hollywood royalty Daniel-Day Lewis and Wes Studi, but was killed by Studi’s Native American character who ripped his heart out.

Roeves and Studi became friends for the rest of his life, and they would meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to catch up.

Studi posted a picture on his Twitter in 2017 of the pair together, captioned: ‘Dining with the Grey Hair, Maurice Roeves, 25 years later! We’ve been friends all this time. SURPRISE!’

He added: ‘Thank you all! Last nite lovely wife of Mo, Vanessa provided alternative haggis for great party!’

Roeves also starred in 1987 BBC Scotland drama Tutti Frutti, where he played ‘iron man of Scottish Rock’ Vince Diver, who cheats on his wife and is stabbed.

The actor’s other notable appearances include as the mercenary Stotz in the 1984 series of Doctor Who, in Judge Dredd, the TV adaptation of Vanity Fair and other shows such as Casualty, Holby City and most recently in the BBC drama The Nest.

Despite his thuggish roles, Ms Rawlings-Jackson told the BBC he was a ‘softie’ in real life.

She said there was no part too small for the thespian and he was happily involved in The Nest despite his minor part.

She added that there was a long-running family joke about his characters being killed off, with them asking him: ‘Does your character make it to the end of this one?’

Roeves and Studi became friends for the rest of his life, and they would meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to catch up (pictured in 2017)

Roeves and Studi became friends for the rest of his life, and they would meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to catch up (pictured in 2017)

Roeves and Studi became friends for the rest of his life, and they would meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to catch up (pictured in 2017)

Having been born in Sunderland, Roeves's family moved him to Scotland where he grew up from the age of seven

Having been born in Sunderland, Roeves's family moved him to Scotland where he grew up from the age of seven

Having been born in Sunderland, Roeves’s family moved him to Scotland where he grew up from the age of seven

He was renown for playing tough characters on screen, but his widow Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson said he was a 'softie' in real life. Pictured in Reach For The Moon

He was renown for playing tough characters on screen, but his widow Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson said he was a 'softie' in real life. Pictured in Reach For The Moon

He was renown for playing tough characters on screen, but his widow Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson said he was a ‘softie’ in real life. Pictured in Reach For The Moon

The actor is pictured playing Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield in Hillsborough in 1996

The actor is pictured playing Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield in Hillsborough in 1996

The actor is pictured playing Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield in Hillsborough in 1996

Tributes flooded in on Wednesday afternoon, with Director Paul Carmichael saying he was 'one of the nicest people' he had met

Tributes flooded in on Wednesday afternoon, with Director Paul Carmichael saying he was 'one of the nicest people' he had met

Tributes flooded in on Wednesday afternoon, with Director Paul Carmichael saying he was ‘one of the nicest people’ he had met

Actor Roeves is pictured at The Damned United film premiere in London in March 2009

Actor Roeves is pictured at The Damned United film premiere in London in March 2009

Actor Roeves is pictured at The Damned United film premiere in London in March 2009

Roeves (pictured in 2009) is survived by his wife Ms Rawlings-Jackson, whom he married in 2001

Roeves (pictured in 2009) is survived by his wife Ms Rawlings-Jackson, whom he married in 2001

Roeves (pictured in 2009) is survived by his wife Ms Rawlings-Jackson, whom he married in 2001

Tributes flooded in on Wednesday afternoon, with Doctor Who’s official Twitter leading them.

It posted: We’re sad to report the death of Maurice Roeves, who had a long career in TV and film, including playing Stotz in ”The Caves of Androzani”.’

Director Paul Carmichael added that Roeves was ‘one of the nicest people’ he had met.

He said: ‘Maurice Roeves has died. An incredibly powerful actor. Last time I saw him he was being chilling on River City.

‘I met him once, outside a hotel in London. One of the nicest people I’ve ever chatted to. RIP.’

Actor Ian Whyte commented: ‘Deeply saddening news of the passing of Maurice Roeves.

‘I met him at the launch of Harrigan in 2013. He was thoroughly, charming, engaging and a wonderful raconteur.

‘Fond memories of wine and talking at length about Last of the Mohicans. Rest in Peace.’

Scot Williams, who starred with him in Hillsborough, posted today: ‘RIP Maurice Roeves.

‘A stunning actor and former colleague who took on the incredibly challenging role of David Duckenfield in Jimmy McGoverns Hillsborough.’

Mr Williams added: ‘We thank him for his work on this project and his lengthy filmography.

Actors paid tribute to Roeve's on Twitter after the thespian was today confirmed to have passed away

Actors paid tribute to Roeve's on Twitter after the thespian was today confirmed to have passed away

Actors paid tribute to Roeve’s on Twitter after the thespian was today confirmed to have passed away

Having been born in Sunderland, Roeves’s family moved him to Scotland where he grew up from the age of seven.

He was raised in Glasgow – where his father owned a cotton mill – and it was at the city’s Citizen’s Theatre where he started his six-decade career.

But after leaving school he made a living in an office job, before going to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he got a gold medal for his acting.

Roeves joined the Citizens Theatre as an Assistant Stage Manager after graduating – cleaning the floor – but ended up picking up small roles.

His breakthrough came in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, in which he played Lorenzo, and fans would pack the stage door to see him.

Disney sent a scout to watch him play the part in Glasgow and later offered him the part of the Irishman in The Fighting Prince of Donegal.

Even after transitioning on to the big screen, Roeves continued onstage and next was cast as Macduff in Macbeth at the Royal Court in London.

Roeves is survived by his wife Ms Rawlings-Jackson, whom he married in 2001.

The celebrated thespian is pictured in a promotional shot for the television series Lytton's Diary

The celebrated thespian is pictured in a promotional shot for the television series Lytton's Diary

The celebrated thespian is pictured in a promotional shot for the television series Lytton’s Diary

Maurice Roeves is pictured in a promo shot for Click TV in  1973. Today his agent revealed he has died

Maurice Roeves is pictured in a promo shot for Click TV in  1973. Today his agent revealed he has died

Maurice Roeves is pictured in a promo shot for Click TV in  1973. Today his agent revealed he has died

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