EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham, best known as the roguish "Dirty" Den Watts in the BBC One soap, has died aged 71.
Grantham had the opening line in the first episode of EastEnders and was at the heart of Walford life until 1989.
He returned in 2003 before leaving for good two years later, following a tabloid scandal.
Tributes have been paid by his EastEnders co-stars. Anita Dobson, who played Den's first wife Angie, said she was "deeply shocked and saddened".
His agent said he died on Friday morning and that a private funeral will be held.
The announcement of his death follows news earlier this week that Grantham had returned to the UK to receive medical treatment.