Image of Leslie Grantham

Leslie Grantham

British actor Leslie Grantham shot to fame in 1985 as Den Watts, the original landlord of the Queen Vic, in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. The character quickly became a national favourite and gained the nickname Dirty Den mostly because of the way he treated his wife Angie, played by Anita Dobson, and the several affairs and nefarious activities he conducted. At Grantham's request the character was killed off in 1988, gunned down by the gangsters he had betrayed. He returned to the soap in 2003 where it was revealed Den faked his own death to live in exile in Spain. It was widely speculated that Grantham was lured back with a £500,000-a-year contract and some 17 million viewers watched his return - an impressive figure, but not as impressive as the 30 million who tuned in to watch Den divorce Angie on Christmas Day, 1986. Two years later, in 2005, Den Watts was killed off once and for all in an episode that drew in 16.2 million viewers. The reason for Grantham's exit this time was an online sex scandal, revealed by a Sunday newspaper a year earlier. This was not the first time Grantham had courted controversy of course. Not long after finding fame in the soap Grantham's past became front page news; on 3 December 1966, when was serving as a young British soldier in West Germany, he attempted to rob a taxi driver, Felix Reese, in Osnabrück A struggle between Grantham and the driver followed, and Reese died from a gunshot wound to the head.In his statement to the police following his arrest, Grantham said that he did not know the gun was loaded and it had gone off during the struggle, which would have resulted in a conviction for manslaughter if a jury believed this version of events. However, at his trial in 1967 he was subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Although he had committed the murder in West Germany, he served the entirety of his imprisonment in various British prisons. This was because soldiers and officers convicted of any criminal offence that warrants a sentence of over two years are automatically transferred to Her Majesty's Prison Service, since they are also automatically dishonourably discharged. Grantham was released in 1977, having served 10 years. Whilst in prison, Grantham discovered acting and was encouraged by Labour politician T. Dan Smith and Doctor Who actress Louise Jameson to take up acting upon his release. Away from EastEnders, Grantham enjoyed a high profile career throughout much of the 1990s with the starring role of gangster Danny Kane in the BBC drama The Paradise Club, and maverick undercover cop Mick Raynor in 99-1. Other credits include the sci fi series The Uninvited (which he also produced), Fort Boyard, The Bill and The Stretch, which reunited him with Anita Dobson. He has also appeared in the films The Wedding Tackle, Charlie and Mob Handed, and starred in the titular role of The English Neighbour on Bulgarian TV in 2011. He died on the 15th June, 2018 in hospital following a short illness.

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Aug 30, 1947 In Camberwell, London, England, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Doctor Who 1963-11-23
Latest Project:
Movie Search and Destroy 2020-06-19
Known For
Poster of Vengeance
Poster of The Stretch
Poster of The Wedding Tackle
Poster of Morons from Outer Space
Movie Search and Destroy Anderson 2020-06-19
Movie The Krays: Dead Man Walking Nipper Read 2018-09-10
Movie Mob Handed The Detective 2016-05-09
Movie The Factory Gene 2013-01-26
Movie Leslie Leslie 2013-01-26
Movie DeadTime 2012-01-01
Movie Vengeance Ronnie 2012-10-27
Movie Charlie Richard Waldeck 2004-02-06
Series Friday Night with Jonathan Ross Unknown 2001-11-02
Movie The Wedding Tackle George 2000-08-11
Movie The Stretch Terry Greene 2000-11-13
Series It's Only TV But I Like It Unknown 1999-06-03
Movie Shadow Run Liney 1998-01-01
Series The Uninvited 1997-09-25
Series The Ant & Dec Show Unknown 1995-04-06
Series The Detectives Danny Kane 1993-01-27
Series Heartbeat Unknown 1992-04-10
Series Cluedo Colonel Mustard 1990-07-25
Series The Paradise Club Danny Kane 1989-09-19
Movie The Nightwatch David Smallman 1989-11-19
Movie Morons from Outer Space Motorway Policeman 1985-03-29
Series EastEnders Den Watts 1985-02-19
Movie Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks Kiston 1984-02-15
Series The Bill Unknown 1984-10-16
Series Doctor Who Unknown 1963-11-23