11/07/2014 10:14 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Emmerdale Stars Pays Tribute To Toddler Who Played Marlon And Rhona's Son

Emmerdale actors and bosses have paid tribute to child actor Harry Whittaker who has died at the age of three.

Harry played Marlon Dingle and Rhona Goskirk's son Leo Dingle, who first appeared in the soap on May 31, 2011.

He died on July 1. Harry had Down's Syndrome. The cause of his death has not been confirmed.

At the end of Thursday's show (July 10), ITV honoured the little boy with a message at the end of the episode which read: "To Harry, with love."

Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon, tweeted a very sweet picture of Harry alongside the message: "Our superhero. We were lucky to know you and hear your laugh. You lit up our lives, dearest, loveliest Harry."

An Emmerdale spokesperson said: "Very sadly we can confirm Harry Whittaker's passing last Tuesday 1st July. We will all miss him greatly and have offered our sincerest condolences to his family at this very sad time."

Harry shared the role of Leo with another young boy called Theo.

The tributes from cast and crew were echoed by fans on social media, with #RIPHarry trending on Twitter. Following messages on condolences, Mark tweeted again saying:

"Thank you all. We'll all pass on your overwhelming response to Harry's amazing family. Thank you for all your kind words. It means a lot. Xx"

The messages from fans on Twitter included: "RIP to little Harry who played Leo in Emmerdale" and "RIP Harry Whittaker, one of two child actors to portray Leo In Emmerdale, who passed away aged 3 years on July 1st. So sad. #Emmerdale."