Emmerdale actor Sam Gannon has died suddenly, aged 31.
The actor appeared on the ITV soap in 2019, playing the character Kev.
Gannon’s family announced the news, revealing that he died during a trip to California, where he was visiting family members. Gannon’s death is not being treated as suspicious.
His sister, Amy Kelly, paid tribute to the actor, writing: “He genuinely cared for others and was a very sensitive soul.”
Gannon’s character in Emmerdale was a horse-drawn carriage coachman, and he filmed scenes with Emma Atkins, who plays Charity Dingle.
Away from TV, the majority of Gannon’s acting credits included theatre work. He was a member of the Northumberland Theatre Company, who also paid tribute to him, writing: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of our own.”
The statement continued: “He delighted audiences with his charm, his wit and his wonderful musical abilities. Sam was described by many as being like a human Duracell bunny, with limitless energy, always running around the rehearsal room and almost having too many creative ideas to keep locked up in his brain.
“In short, Sam could be a handful at times! But he was always fantastic as soon as you got him on that stage. He has also been described as a genuinely lovely lad, a wonderful human and a good friend to many.”
Gannon’s family have launched a crowdfunding page on JustGiving with the intention of raising funds to move his body back to the UK for his funeral.
Extra money “will be donated to a UK charity supporting youth theatre, a cause close to Sam’s heart”, Gannon’s brother, Jonathan Kelly, wrote on the page on Sunday (7 August).