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9 November 2022, 09:01
Who played Arthur Fowler in EastEnders and what else was Bill Treacher in?
EastEnders’ legend Bill Treacher has died aged 92, his family has confirmed.
The Arthur Fowler actor appeared in the very first episode of the BBC soap back in February 1985 and starred until 1996.
Bill was married to Australian actress Katherine Kessey and the pair share two children.
In a statement, his family confirmed the actor's health "had been declining for some time".
"Bill was a brilliant actor and a wonderful husband and father, plus a very fine human being. He will be hugely missed," they said.
An EastEnders spokesperson said: "It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Bill Treacher. As one of our original cast members, Bill created a much loved character in Arthur Fowler and, alongside Wendy Richard, they created an iconic family in the Fowlers who still remain at the heart of the show.
"Bill left EastEnders in 1996 so it is a true testament to both him, and the character that he created in Arthur, that he is still thought of so fondly. Bill will always be remembered for his charm, sense of humour - with a smile that lit up the room - and more importantly as a family man who was devoted to his wife and children.
"Bill will forever be held in great affection by everyone at EastEnders and all those that loved watching him."
His friends and co-stars have shared their memories with the star, with Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale, writing on Twitter: "He always had a sparkle in his eyes, usually before he mischievously set us off laughing during scenes."
Letitia Dean, who plays Sharon Watts, said: "Bill really was the life and soul of the set. As an actor, he was meticulous and he went to great lengths to portray Arthur, from the smallest scenes to the heartbreaking stories. Bill was an utter professional, a wonderful man.
Former EastEnders star, Adam Woodyatt, said: "So many memories of working with Bill, most of them involving him making us corpse.
"He would get this twinkle in his eye, you'd start laughing and he never got the blame. I used to love it when he was trying to remember his lines in rehearsal and he would just blunder and bluster until the correct word came out."
Arthur Fowler left EastEnders in 1996 after he was given a prison sentence for a crime he did not commit.
He suffered mental breakdown in prison, and eventually died of a brain haemorrhage at his allotment a few days after his release.
Following his EastEnders career, Bill continued to act and in 2006, he had a guest-starring role in the ITV police drama The Bill.
In December 2007, he also appeared as a security guard in an episode of Casualty.
He also appeared in several films, most notably Pop Pirates (1984), The Musketeer (2001), Tale of the Mummy (1998), and George and the Dragon (2004).
In 2015, the star revealed he was suffering from ataxia, a disorder that can affect co-ordination, balance and speech.