By Ash Percival
He died peacefully on Saturday at the Royal Trinity Hospice in London surrounded by his family, after living with with cancer.
A message from the film and TV star’s family said: “Today we’re devastated by the loss of our beautiful Dudley, who leaves a gaping hole in all our lives.
“We’re grateful for the love expressed by friends and fans everywhere and for the extraordinary care he received at the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London, where he went out fighting for our NHS.”
Dudley was known for playing Tinker Dill in the BBC dram series ‘Lovejoy’ opposite Ian McShane’s antiques dealer from 1986 to 1994.
He also had a recurring role in ‘EastEnders’ in 2004 as conman Wilfred Atkins, who married Nana Moon and conned Pat Butcher out of £30,000.
Dudley also had small parts in ‘Holby City’, ‘Skins’, ‘Porridge’ and ‘The Sweeney’, as well as starring in films including ‘The Devils’, and ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’.
‘Lovejoy’ star Chris Jury, who played Eric Catchpole, was among the first to pay tribute on Twitter, writing: “I loved him dearly.”
My dear, dear pal. Dudley Sutton died today. I loved him dearly. Condolences to Fanny, Peter, Barnaby, Wally and
Jacqueline and all the rest of his family… and of course his extended family amongst the friends of Bill W. Love you Duds. I’ll miss… https://t.co/o2yzdZ1srY
— Chris Jury (@ButAmIAFreeman) September 15, 2018
‘Quadrophenia’ actor Phil Davis, who starred alongside Dudley in ‘Outside Bet’, called him a “true original”.
RIP DudleySutton a great actor, wonderful bloke, a true original. I loved him. He will be greatly missed
— Phil Davis (@PhilDavis6) September 15, 2018
Fellow ‘Outside Bet’ star Emily Atack also paid tribute, as did Keane frontman, Tom Chaplin, after Dudley played a “wonderful lead role” in his video for 2017 solo single ‘Midnight Mass’.
So sad to hear Dudley Sutton has passed. Such a hilarious, warm, talented man who I’m so honoured to have worked with. Sending love to his family who he spoke of always.❤️ https://t.co/kBJLQDa9ed
— Emily Jane Atack (@EmAtack) September 15, 2018
Sad to hear about Dudley Sutton dying. He played a wonderful lead role in the video for my song Midnight Mass. Off-camera he was full of steadfast beliefs, warmth and fun!
And, of course, he played Tinker in my favourite TV show of all time. #DudleySuttonhttps://t.co/V6dC72e5Bb
— Tom Chaplin (@tomchaplin) September 15, 2018
Dudley married American actress Marjorie Steele in 1961, but they divorced four years later after having one child together.