'Emmerdale' star Freddie Jones dies aged 91

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Freddie Jones starred in 'Emmerdale' as Sandy Thomas for over 10 years (Credit: ITV)

Freddie Jones - best known for playing Sandy Thomas in Emmerdale - has died at the age of 91.

The actor, whose film credits included The Elephant Man, played vicar Ashely Thomas’ father in the ITV soap from 2005 to 2018.

Jones’ agent Lesley Duff said: "It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of Freddie Jones.

"He passed away on the evening of July 9 after a short illness.

"Freddie was a much loved and admired actor, known for his triumphs in classical theatre, film and television. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him and most especially his family."

Read more: Emmerdale star beaten for being transgender

The veteran actor was the father of Captain America star Toby Jones and has two other sons in the industry.

He departed the soap last year saying he could not justify staying, even though he had been offered another year on the ITV soap.

He has also appeared in Heartbeat and Casualty.

Jones became a professional actor as part of a midlife career change, having previously worked as a lab assistant and pursuing an interest in amateur dramatics.

His first acting credit was on the TV mini series Androcles And The Lion in 1960.

Read more: 'Emmerdale' named the worst soap for divorces

He appeared as Claudius in the TV miniseries The Caesars and was cast in films including Far From The Madding Crowd and Dune, Firefox and Wild At Heart.

His former Emmerdale co-stars have been paying tribute on social media.

Katherine Dow Blyton, who plays Harriet Finch, tweeted: “Will be raising a glass or two tonight to the wonderful Freddie Jones. So lucky to have worked with this legend. A very special man. R.I.P Freddie “If there’s another world, he lives in bliss; If there is none, he made the best of this.”

Samantha Giles, who plays Bernice Blackstock, wrote: “What an amazing life #FreddieJones had- one to be celebrated- lucky to have worked with him- thoughts though with his family at this sad time”

Michelle Hardwick said she felt “very lucky” to have worked with him and called him a “true legend”.