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08th Nov 2022

EastEnders icon Bill Treacher, who played Arthur Fowler, dies aged 92

Tobi Akingbade

Rest in peace Arthur

Actor Bill Treacher, who played Arthur Fowler in EastEnders, has died aged 92, his family has confirmed.

Treacher was one of the original actors to appear in the BBC One soap, featured in the first episode in February 1985.

In a statement, his family confirmed the actor’s health “had been declining for some time”.

“Bill was a brilliant actor and a wonderful husband and father, plus a very fine human being. He will be hugely missed,” they said.

The actor died on Saturday, his family said, adding he “was much loved by his wife, Kate, his son, Jamie and his daughter, Sophie”.

An EastEnders spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Bill Treacher. As one of our original cast members, Bill created a much loved character in Arthur Fowler and, alongside Wendy Richard, they created an iconic family in the Fowlers who still remain at the heart of the show.

“Bill left EastEnders in 1996 so it is a true testament to both he, and the character that he created in Arthur, that he is still thought of so fondly. Bill will always be remembered for his charm, sense of humour – with a smile that lit up the room – and more importantly as a family man who was devoted to his wife and children. Bill will forever be held in great affection by everyone at EastEnders and all those that loved watching him.”

His co-stars Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale, and Letitia Dean, who plays Sharon Watts, shared their tributes following the news of his death.

Taylforth said she had “so many happy memories of Bill”, adding: “He always had a sparkle in his eyes, usually before he mischievously set us off laughing during scenes.”

Dean added: “Bill really was the life and soul of the set. As an actor, he was meticulous and he went to great lengths to portray Arthur, from the smallest scenes to the heartbreaking stories. Bill was an utter professional, a wonderful man.

Former EastEnders star, Adam Woodyatt who played Ian Beale, said: “So many memories of working with Bill, most of them involving him making us corpse. He would get this twinkle in his eye, you’d start laughing and he never got the blame. I used to love it when he was trying to remember his lines in rehearsal and he would just blunder and bluster until the correct word came out.”

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