Actor Dean Gaffney has announced the death of his “beautiful, selfless mother” Marian.
When he shared the news, Gaffney, 45 – who was known for playing Robbie Jackson in soap EastEnders, said that he was “simply broken”.
The actor wrote about his mother’s death in an Instagram post and said: “I was, am and always will be a mummy’s boy so this news has completely floored me.
“I spoke to her every day and in some ways I’m glad I’m the one that found her asleep.
“I will retain all the amazing memories that we shared and whilst I understand the circle of life means everyone will feel this pain at some point in their lives, life can be very cruel at times, 69 is no age.
“To know I will never be able to physically see or speak to her ever again is beyond any pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.
“We all tell our parents and loved ones we love them flippantly at the end of a phone call but please tell them you actually really love them… put down that phone when you’re with them, as my mums only criticism of me was that I would be on my phone when in her company.”
The actor described his mother as “the most amazing selfless, caring, generous soul to ever walk the Earth”.
Celebrities, including former Countdown star Carol Vorderman, offered their condolences.
Vorderman said: “Oh Dean. I’m so very sorry to hear your news…..you loved her so much and she would have been so proud of you. Sending love as ever.”
TV presenter Alison Hammond commented: “Massive condolences to you and your family. I feel this with you.”
Fellow EastEnders cast members also sent their love.
Danniella Westbrook, who used to play Sam Mitchell, said: “Darling I am so so so sorry to hear this she was one stunning and genuine woman. Love you gaff.”
Patsy Palmer, who was known for playing Bianca Jackson, said: “Dean I’m so sorry for you loss.
“She must’ve been very proud of you. Sending love and hugs to you all.”
Gaffney first appeared in EastEnders in 1993 and left the show 10 years later.
His character made an official return to Albert Square in 2017, before he exited the show in 2019.