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10 July 2019, 16:09
Emmerdale star Freddie Jones has died aged 91 after a “short illness”, it has been confirmed.
Freddie, who played Sandy Thomas on the soap from 2005 to 2018, died on Tuesday.
The 91-year-old’s agent Lesley Duff said: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of Freddie Jones.
“He passed away on the evening of July 9 after a short illness.
“Freddie was a much loved and admired actor, known for his triumphs in classical theatre, film and television.
“He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him and most especially his family.”
Emmerdale fans watched on last year as Freddie’s character Sandy left the soap after flying to Australia following the death of his on-screen son Ashley Thomas (played by John Middleton).
The soap star left the programme after struggling to find “balance” in his life due to filming.
Show bosses offered Freddie another contract to stay on for one more year, but were turned down.
He told Radio Times following the offer: “It’s about the balance of my life. The company generously offered me another 12 months.
“But I just thought, ‘I have no idea what I’m going to do in another bl**dy year!’
“The drama that Ashley’s death gave me last year was monumental. But that’s gone now.
“I travel three hours by car, book into a hotel and then get up the next day to say maybe three sentences. And then do a three hour journey back.
“I can’t justify staying, even though Emmerdale was very generous in asking me to.”
Following the news of Freddie's passing, Emmerdale tweeted: "Everyone at Emmerdale is deeply sad to hear about the death of one of the show's most brilliant actors and favourite human beings, Freddie Jones. #Emmerdale."
Freddie, who is father of actor Toby Jones, was also known for appearances in Far From the Madding Crowd, The Elephant Man, Dune, Wild at Heart, Heartbeat and Casualty.