Former EastEnders star Bill Treacher dies, aged 92

bill treacher on eastenders set next to albert square sign
Former EastEnders star Bill Treacher dies aged 92Avalon - Getty Images

Former EastEnders actor Bill Treacher has died aged 92, his family have confirmed.

Treacher played Arthur Fowler on the long-running soap, joining the show back in 1985, before making his final appearance in 1996.

In a statement, his family confirmed that he passed away on Saturday (November 5), adding that his health had been "declining for some time".

Continuing, the statement read: "He was much loved by his wife, Kate, his son, Jamie and his daughter, Sophie. Bill was a brilliant actor and a wonderful husband and father, plus a very fine human being. He will be hugely missed. The family respectfully request privacy at this time."

wendy richard as pauline and bill treacher as arthur in eastenders
Don Smith - Getty Images

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In a post on the soap's Facebook page, a BBC spokesperson said the actor would be remembered for his "charm, sense of humour and smile", adding that he would "forever be held in great affection".

Chris Clenshaw, the current Executive Producer for the soap, paid tribute to Treacher, writing: "Like so many, I grew up watching EastEnders with the beloved Arthur Fowler on his allotment, one of Walford's originals who can still be described as a true heart of The Square.

"To this day, Arthur Fowler is still so fondly remembered by the audience and that is due to the character that Bill created and the reason why the Fowler name is still very much alive in Albert Square, as are the great memories of those that worked with Bill. We send all our love and thoughts to Bill's wife and family."

Co-star Gillian Taylforth paid tribute, saying: "I have so many happy memories of Bill, in fact we were only sharing stories of him at work the other day, about how he always had a sparkle in his eyes, usually before he mischievously set us off laughing during scenes. Bill was a wonderful, wonderful man who will be truly missed and I am sending all our love to his wife Kate and his family."

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Letitia Dean also shared fond memories: "Bill really was the life and soul of the set, he was an absolute joy to be around and always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. As an actor, Bill 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 and he will be greatly missed. I'm sending all my love to his family."

Meanwhile, Adam Woodyatt shared: "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. My thoughts are with Kate, Jamie and Sophie at this sad time. Rest in peace Bill. I hope there are some roses up there for you to tend."

In 2015, Treacher revealed he was suffering from ataxia, a degenerative disease which affects balance and the ability to walk. His other television credits include The Bill, Casualty and The Sweeney.

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage.

If you identify with the themes in this article, the NHS has resources available to help with grief counselling and other support in the UK. In the US, the CDC also has resources available for those grieving.

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