The Can You Ever Forgive Me? star married Washington, a voice and dialect coach, in 1986, with the pair sharing a daughter, Olivia, and a stepson, Tom, from his wife’s previous relationship.
On Friday (3 September), Grant shared the news on Twitter that his wife had died on Thursday (2 September) night. No cause of death was given.
Posting a video of him and Washington dancing at their home, he wrote: “ONLY YOU! Joan - Love of my Life & Giver of Life to our daughter Olivia.
“Our hearts are broken with the loss of your Life last night. 35 years married & 38 together. To be truly known and seen by you, is your immeasurable gift. Do not forget us, sweet Monkee-mine [broken heart emojis].”
Grant received an outpouring of support online, with Nigella Lawson commenting: “Heartbroken for you and @OliviaGranted. Sending all the love in the world.”
“Very sorry to hear this, Richard. Thinking of you,” David Baddiel commented.
Chris Addison shared his own memories of Washington, writing: “Richard! I’m devastated to hear this. She was a truly, truly wonderful woman and I’m privileged to have got to work with her. Huge condolences and love to you and Olivia.”
Washington had worked in the film industry for nearly 40 years, coaching actors such as Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and Emma Stone on vocal and accent work.