Footballers' Wives star John Forgeham dies, aged 75

Priya Joshi
John Forgeham

Fans and friends of John Forgeham have been paying tribute to the actor who died aged 75, after a fall at his home.

The Italian Job star fell from his bed and broke his collarbone on Wednesday (8 March) night and was later rushed to hospital after suffering internal bleeding.

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His daughter Jonesta, 45, confirmed that he died at 2.30pm on Friday (10 March).

"It is still very raw. It is a shock because he died suddenly," she explained. "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.

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"He was rushed to hospital and he had some sort of burst inside - something ruptured. There was blood everywhere."

Paying tribute to her father she 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.

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"He would want to be remembered as this wonderful actor. He lived and breathed acting."

Forgeham was born in Kidderminster, West Midlands, on May 14 1941. He joined an amateur dramatics group while working at a factory and later won a scholarship to RADAm launching his career as an actor.

The grandfather-of-five, who lived in Worthing, East Sussex, played Frank in the 1969 Michael Caine classic, but was perhaps better-known to younger audiences for his role as Frank Laslett in the hit ITV series Footballers' Wives.

John Forgeham

However, after the series ended in 2006, he struggled to find work and fell into a deep depression as he battled mental health issues.

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."

Jonesta said: "He didn't get much work after that. 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."

Paying tribute on social media scriptwriter Simon Golding tweeted a photo of himself with Forgeham and wrote: "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"

Forgeham also had a son, Jason and was a grandfather-of-five.

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