Waterman’s family said he died “very peacefully” in a Spanish hospital
Dennis Waterman, who starred in TV series Minder, The Sweeney and New Tricks, has died at the age of 74.
Waterman is best known for playing bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder – who introduced millions of households across Britain to the criminal underbelly of west London – and as badass cop George Carter in The Sweeney opposite John Thaw.
He became famous for singing the theme music to many of his shows and as a result was parodied by David Walliams in Little Britain.
But how did he die and what was the cause of death?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Who was Dennis Waterman?
Waterman was born in London and attended Corona Theater School.
He began his showbiz career at a young age and after a role for the Children’s Film Foundation was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.
He then landed a role in the BBC production of the Just William books.
He had his biggest role in the comedy Minder, in which Waterman appeared in seven series between 1979 and 1989 as bodyguard Terry McCann.
Waterman also performed the title track “I Could Be So Good for You” (written by his then-wife Patricia), which was a UK Top 3 hit in 1980.
His role in 2004 drama New Tricks marked his return to a long-running show for the first time in a decade and saw him alongside acting stars James Bolam and Alun Armstrong.
His character, Gerry, was part of the Cold Case Squad, who often clashed with their detective boss, played by Amanda Redman.
Channel 5 reintroduced Minder in 2009, but Waterman didn’t return for the new series, which instead starred Shane Ritchie as the nephew of one of the original series’ characters – she was canceled after just six episodes.
In 2009 he starred in the badass BBC drama Moses Jones, a role he said at the time he enjoyed because it put him in a different light.
Waterman’s talents were not limited to acting; He was also a musician, recording albums and singles that were hits in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
How did he die?
Waterman’s exact cause of death has not been released, although his family said he died “very peacefully” in a Spanish hospital.
The statement read: “We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved Dennis passed away very peacefully in hospital in Spain on Sunday afternoon [wife] Pam by his side.
“The family kindly asks that our privacy be respected at this very difficult time.”
It was rumored by some outlets that Waterman had battled cancer before his death, although Mazic News could not find any trusted sources to confirm this.
Corresponding The mirrorWaterman spent his time in Spain after New Tricks ended and said he wasn’t actively looking for new projects.
After the series ended, Waterman said he had downsized his properties and was enjoying semi-retirement.
“I’m not looking for a job – I’ll see how far the money goes,” he noted.
“I’m not really in a rush to look for work — I’ll see how far the money goes,” he said. “I’ve found one remarkable thing about myself, that I’m really, really good at doing anything.”
How many times has he been married?
Waterman has been married four times.
In 1967 he married actress Penny Dixon, from whom he divorced in 1976.
Waterman then married his second wife Patricia Maynard, with whom he has two daughters, one of whom is Hannah Waterman, a former EastEnders actress who later played his daughter in New Tricks.
He made headlines when he divorced Maynard and married actress Rula Lenska in 1987, but that marriage ended after ten years due to his abusive behavior towards her.
In a 2012 episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Waterman’s remarks on the subject caused controversy when he said, “It’s not difficult for a woman to get a man to hit her,” claiming, Lenska is “certainly not a beaten woman”.
After his second drunk driving conviction in four years, Waterman was banned from driving for three years in 1991.
After many years of friendship, Waterman married his fourth wife, Pam Flint, in 2011; They stayed together until his death.
Flint was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006 but was able to undergo life-saving surgery, which Waterman assisted her with.
“I couldn’t have had a better partner to get me through this situation,” Flint said at the time, though Waterman admitted he wasn’t usually good at handling when other people were sick.