Bill Treacher, the actor who played Arthur Fowler in EastEnders, has passed away at the age of 92.
The actor was one of the BBC soap’s original cast members and appeared on the show from 1985 until 1996.
He died late on Saturday night after suffering from declining health for some time.
A statement from his family said: “The family of the actor Bill Treacher are sad to announce that Bill died late Saturday night, 5 November 2022.
“He was 92 years old and his health had been declining for some time. He was much loved by his wife, Kate, his son, Jamie and his daughter, Sophie.
“Bill was a brilliant actor and a wonderful husband and father, plus a very fine human being. He will be hugely missed.
“The family respectfully request privacy at this time.”
Treacher was married to Australian actress Katherine Kessey, with whom he shared two children, and they were longstanding residents of Suffolk.
In 2015, he revealed he was suffering from ataxia, a disorder that can affect coordination, balance and speech.
He appeared in EastEnders until 1996, when his troubled character was in prison for a crime he did not commit.
After receiving a blow to his head during a violent fracas, his character was released but later suffered a brain haemorrhage at his beloved allotment.
He died in hospital, leaving the Fowler family heartbroken.
It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Bill Treacher. Bill & his character, Arthur Fowler, will forever be held in great affection by everyone at EastEnders. Rest in peace, Bill.
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— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) November 8, 2022
After he left EastEnders, Treacher had roles in The Bill and Casualty, and films such as The Musketeer (2001), Tale Of The Mummy (1998), and George And The Dragon (2004).
A spokeswoman for EastEnders 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 he 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. Rest in peace Bill and thank you for the memories.”
Executive producer Chris Clenshaw said: “Like so many, I grew up watching EastEnders with the beloved Arthur Fowler on his allotment, one of Walford’s originals who can still be described as a true heart of the Square.
“To this day, Arthur Fowler is still so fondly remembered by the audience and that is due to the character that Bill created and the reason why the Fowler name is still very much alive in Albert Square, as are the great memories of those that worked with Bill.
“We send all our love and thoughts to Bill’s wife and family.”