The actor played Kev in Emmerdale and had also appeared in ads for Halfords and Bet365
Former Emmerdale star Sam Gannon has died unexpectedly in the United States, the actor’s family has announced.
The 31-year-old played the character Kev in the Yorkshire TV soap, having previously played roles in commercials, plays and short films including Talking with Angels – a feature film starring comedian Vic Reeves and actress Jane Horrocks.
So who was Sam Gannon, what roles did he play – and how did he die?
Who Was Sam Gannon?
Sam Gannon was a 31-year-old actor from Brayton – a village on the outskirts of the North Yorkshire town of Selby.
Still a young television and film actor at the time of his death, the Yorkshireman had many roles in regional theater productions.
The actor was educated at Brayton High School before studying at the Yorkshire Film and Television School in Huddersfield.
These have included the role of Dromio in a Theater of the Dales production of William Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors and the role of Cassio in the BlackBox Theater version of Othello.
He also appeared in the short film Talking with Angels alongside Vic Reeves and Jane Horrocks.
Gannon toured with Northumberland Theater Company in 2015 before landing roles in commercials for Halfords and Bet365.
His big break came in 2019 when he landed the role of Kev on Yorkshire TV soap Emmerdale.
The actor appeared as a coachman in two episodes.
Aside from acting, Gannon was a musician who could sing, play the guitar, ukulele, piano and violin.
He reportedly died on Tuesday (2 August).
How did Sam Gannon die?
There are currently no details on how Sam Gannon died.
What is known is that he was staying with a family in Willows, California – a town 80 miles north of Sacramento’s main hub.
What did the family say about Sam Gannon?
His family has paid tribute to the rising star.
According to Sam Gannon’s sister Amy Kelly, 34, the actor was a “whirlwind” and “one of a kind”.
“He really cared about others and was a very sensitive soul,” she said.
“It is clear from the honors we have received that he has touched the hearts of so many.”
One of the Yorkshireman’s friends, Lewis Matthews, described his friend as a “true Duracell rabbit” who had a “seemingly endless supply of energy and love.”
“He wowed audiences with his charm, wit and wonderful musical ability,” added Matthews.
Gannon’s family has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help them repatriate his body from the United States.
They have to raise £17,000, with his sister saying any money over that figure will be donated to a UK charity that supports young actors.