Sadness as Emmerdale star Freddie Jones dies

EMMERDALE soap star and veteran actor Freddie Jones has died at the age of 91.

Jones retired only last year at 90 after 12 years of playing Sandy Thomas – despite ITV bosses begging him to stay

His agent confirmed his death today after a short illness.

Lesley Duff said: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of Freddie Jones.

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.”

He was most recently known for playing Sandy Thomas in the soap from 2005 until 2018.

The father of fellow actor Toby Jones, he became an actor after a mid-life career change, having previously worked as a laboratory assistant while performing in amateur theatre on the side.

He made his film debut in 1967 in Marat/Sade and later played Claudius in the TV miniseries The Caesars.

He appeared in Hollywood films including The Elephant Man, Dune, Firefox and Wild At Heart and literary dramas such as Far From The Madding Crowd and Nicholas Nickleby, as well as the 1987 version of Vanity Fair.

In an interview with the Radio Times last year, he said working on the Emmerdale set had left him with a “feeling of friendship and overwhelming love from every quarter — props, lighting, make-up… nobody could have been kinder.

“My life will easily be more impoverished,” he said.

More to follow…