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Hywel Bennett dies

Hywel Bennett dies

Hywel Bennett has died.

The Welsh actor - who was best known for playing the lead role of James Shelley in sitcom 'Shelley' - passed away last month at the age of 73, his agent has confirmed.

'Shelley' ran from 1974 to 1984 and told the story of an unemployed man, living in a bedsit in London. He reprised the role again in the late 1980s, when 'The Return of Shelley' ran from 1988 to 1992.

Hywel had also previously worked on shows including 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' and 'Last Of The Summer Wine' and played gangster Jack Dalton in 'EastEnders', until he was killed by Dennis Rickman.

He also featured in the Dennis Potter mini-series 'Karaoke' and 'Cold Lazarus', starred as Peter Baxter in 'The Bill' for five years and his last known role as in 'The Last Detective' as Reggie Conway.

His movie credits included 'The Family Way', in which he appeared alongside Hayley and John Mills, and went on to be godfather to their son, Kula Shaker frontman Crispian Mills, and 'The Virgin Soldiers' opposite Lynn Redgrave.

The actor - who had a daughter, Emma, with his ex-wife, 'Ready Steady Go!' presenter Cathy McGowan, who he split from in 1988 - retired due to ill health in 2007 and is believed to have been living in Kent until his death.