Hywel Bennett, star of British sitcom Shelley, dies aged 73

Hywel Bennett as James Shelley in the famous British sitcom Shelley
Hywel Bennett as James Shelley in British sitcom Shelley.

Welsh actor Hywel Bennett, who shot to stardom playing James Shelley in British sitcom Shelley, which was watched by 18 million Brits every week, has died aged 73.

The actor, who was born in Carmarthenshire, Wales, also featured in a number of films during the 1960s, including The Virgin Soldiers and The Family Way.

Bennett’s big break came in 1979 when he landed the title role in the classic British sitcom Shelley, which lasted for 10 series and 71 episodes broadcast on ITV between 1979 and 1984.

More recently, he joined EastEnders in 2003 as gangland boss Jack Dalton, who became involved in a grisly plot with Phil Mitchell before he was killed off by Dennis Rickman.

Hywel Bennett in Eastenders
Hywel Bennett (left) in Eastenders. Photo: BBC

Bennett’s agent confirmed that the actor, who also starred in shows called The Idiot and Redcap, had passed away. It is believed he died on July 25.

He leaves behind one daughter, Emma, who he had with his former wife Cathy McGowan.

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