EastEnders And Fawlty Towers Star Nicky Henson Dies Aged 74

He was best known for playing Mr Johnson in The Psychiatrist episode of the BBC sitcom.

Former EastEnders and Fawlty Towers star Nicky Henson has died at the age of 74.

The actor – best known for playing Mr Johnson in The Psychiatrist episode of the classic BBC sitcom – died nearly 20 years after first being diagnosed with cancer.

Nicky Henson appeared in EastEnders
Nicky Henson appeared in EastEnders
BBC

Writing on Facebook, his friend Ian Oglivy confirmed: “After an illness which started twenty years ago, and which was born with great fortitude and good humour, my oldest and dearest friend, my mate Nicky Henson, has gone.”

As well as appearing in Fawlty Towers, Nicky played the father of Honey Mitchell in EastEnders in 2006, but left after 10 months due to health problems.

Nicky also had small roles in Downton Abbey, The Bill and Heartbeat, as well as a career on the stage, having been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He was previously married to fellow actor Una Stubbs from 1969 to 1975, with the pair later appearing alongside each other in EastEnders.

Nicky was previously married to actor Una Stubbs
Nicky was previously married to actor Una Stubbs
PA Archive/PA Images

Una played his sister-in-law Caroline Bishop, the aunt of Honey, who is played by Strictly Come Dancing finalist Emma Barton.

Nicky and Una had two sons, Joe and Christian, before he went on to marry ballerina Marguerite Porter in 1986, with whom he had another son, Keaton.

Last year, Nicky opened up about his cancer battle, revealing he considered the last 18 years as “extra time” following his diagnosis.

He said at the time: “I got my first cancer on Christmas Day 18 years ago and didn’t think I was going to survive, after I was told I had a large tumour and would have to be operated on.

“To get rid of the first tumour, I had to have half my colon and a third of my stomach removed. I was fine, but a routine scan a few years later revealed I had another tumour. I was prescribed a drug, Gleevac, for six months, to reduce it to an operable size.

“During that time, I got my dream part as Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night at the RSC, but the physical strain of the part and the side effects of the drug meant I had to give it up. I knew then I’d never act on stage again, which broke my heart.”

Nicky played Mr Johnson in Fawlty Towers
Nicky played Mr Johnson in Fawlty Towers
BBC

Just over a decade ago, Nicky was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and faced “around 21 medical procedures over 12 months”.

But he added: “It’s incredible what treatment they can offer now. For my generation, the ‘c’ word used to mean that was the end. But my three sons looked it up on the internet and told me, ‘Listen dad, it’s not like the old days, you’ll be OK.’ ”

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