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7 April 2020, 11:10
Jay Benedict played businessman Doug Hamilton in Emmerdale for several episodes.
Emmerdale star Jay Benedict has died at the age of 68 after contracting coronavirus.
The American born actor’s agency announced the sad news on Monday, writing on Twitter: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family ”
Benedict is survived by his wife Phoebe Scholfield and their two sons Leopold and Freddie, as well as another daughter from a previous relationship.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family ❤️— TCG ArtistManagement (@TCGArtist) April 4, 2020
And tributes have since poured in for the actor and his family, with Only Fools and Horses' star John Callis writing: "Strangest coincidence this morning-talking on the telephone to my brother in law & telling him that my old friend Jay Benedict died yesterday.
"Talented actor & someone I used to rock around with and Johnny said 'Oh no! Jay was my friend at school'. Weird or what? @SherrieHewson."
Allo Allo actress Vicki Michelle also tweeted: "Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed.”
Benedict was born in Burbank, California, but moved to Europe in the 1960s and spent most of his working life in the UK.
After joining Emmerdale in 1997, he played businessman Doug Hamilton for several episodes.
Jay was also known for his role as Captain John Kieffer for two episodes of Foyles War in 2006.
The actor also acted opposite Abi Titmuss in the stage adaption Two-Way Mirror.
His film career included his role as Russ Jordan in Aliens in 1986 and he also appeared in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises.
In 2017, he played Doctor Shurman in Madame and also had the role of a wounded man in Hostile.