Grange Hill actor Terry Sue-Patt has died aged 50.
The actor, who became a child star thanks to his role as football-mad Benny Green in the hit children’s series, was found dead at his home in Walthamstow, East London on Friday 22 May. In a statement police said they were not treating the death as suspicious.
It is my sad duty to inform you all that Terry Sue Patt who played Benny Green has passed away. RIP Terry pic.twitter.com/lFNybRQBEz
— Grange Hill (@hill_grange) May 22, 2015
Sue-Patt was 14 when he first appeared in Grange Hill, and was the very first character to be seen in the BBC drama. He starred in the show for four series from 1978 to 1982.
Grange Hill co-stars have been paying tribute to the British actor online. Robert Craig-Morgan, who played Justin Bennett in the original series, wrote on Grange Hill appreciation website Grange Hill Gold, “I can not find the words to describe my shock and utter sadness on hearing my good friend and Grange Hill colleague, Terry Sue Patt has passed away. Terry was a beautiful person, who I loved from the first time I met him.
“A fine actor, artist and a great soul, he will be so missed by those who were lucky enough to have known him,” he continued. “I will treasure forever my memories of my friendship with him.
“I’m devastated by hearing this, I send my deepest condolences to all his family and loved ones. God bless you Terry. You are legend my friend.”
Lee MacDonald, who also starred in Grange Hill as Samuel ‘Zammo’ Maguire, posted a message on Twitter.
R.I.P Terry Sue-Patt the memories of our times together will never be forgotten! Love you FOREVER Xxxxxxxxxxxx pic.twitter.com/tyNBrf5HTi
— Lee MacDonald (@leemacdonald) May 22, 2015
In an interview with Grange Hill Gold in 2013, Sue-Patt explained how he was offered the part of Benny by chance while juggling a football in a park. A man sat watching him turned out to be original Grange Hill director Colin Cant.
“I really didn’t expect Grange Hill to be a success, which sounds really silly now but I remember the First Series not going down too well,” he recalled. “It wasn’t till the second series that the programme really took off. However I soon realised that school children were running home to watch it. I know because they were running past me.”
His fellow Grange Hill actor Erkan Mustafa, who played the part of Roland Browning in the show, also took to Twitter to express his sadness at the news.
Rip terry sue patt aka #bennygreen#grangehill legend you will be missed by true friends
— Erkan Mustafa (@ErkanMustafa) May 22, 2015
— Erkan Mustafa (@ErkanMustafa) May 23, 2015