Porridge star Richard Beckinsale - who would have turned 72 today - passed away when his daughter was just five years old and the tragedy has haunted

Kate Beckinsale's actor dad died in his sleep and lay undiscovered for hours

Kate Beckinsale's actor dad died in his sleep and lay undiscovered for hours

Kate Beckinsale's actor dad died in his sleep and lay undiscovered for hours

Kate Beckinsale's actor dad died in his sleep and lay undiscovered for hours

Kate Beckinsale's actor dad died in his sleep and lay undiscovered for hours
Kate Beckinsale's actor dad died in his sleep and lay undiscovered for hours
  • 2020-07-06 17:25:07 5 months ago
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Kate Beckinsale's family has been haunted tragedy after her actor dad died in his sleep and his body lay undiscovered for hours.

Porridge star Richard Beckinsale - who would have turned 72 today - was a rising star of British TV back in the 1970s and his death sent a shockwave through the entertainment industry.

He was just 31 years old when he died in 1979, leaving behind his second wife Judy Loe and two daughters, Samantha and Kate.

That year, Beckinsale had finished on Porridge and was working on a new sitcom called Bloomers, which was set in a florist's shop.

He had also been cast by Stephen Frears in a film called Bloody Kids.

Richard Beckinsale with daughter Kate and wife Judy Loe

In the lead up to the tragedy Beckinsale had complained to his wife that he wasn't feeling well - going to the doctor after suffering black outs dizzy spells.

However, his GP reassured him there was nothing wrong, insisting he just had a slightly high cholesterol level and an over-active stomach lining.

Judy was in hospital for an operation and Beckinsale continued working, while he also attended a showbiz party on March 17 1979.

It was a going away party for the Two Ronnies, who were about to embark on a trip to Australia, and he mingled with stars including David Jason.

Kate Beckinsale and her mum Judy
Richard Beckinsale in Porridge with Ronnie Barker

The next day, he returned to work on Bloomers and took Kate to visit her mum i n hospital.

Afterwards, he dropped Kate off with some relatives where she was staying the night and went back to the family home in Berkshire.

He's believed to have made a number of calls that evening, to his elder daughter Samantha and some friends, who he told he told he'd been suffering from some chest pains.

The actor is said to have laughed off his health troubles and made a joke out of it, before going to bed.

Richard, Judy and Kate

The next morning, Beckinsale failed to show up for work on Bloomers and concerned production staff called his home.

They spoke to a family friend, who had gone to the house that morning to help look after Kate.

She told the Bloomers staff that Beckinsale was still sleeping, but when she went to wake him up she realised something was very wrong.

She called a doctor, who confirmed Beckinsale had died in his sleep during the night several hours earlier.

It was revealed he'd suffered a heart attack and a post-mortem examination later revealed a congenital defect that had previously gone undetected.

Just days after his death, the BAFTA Awards went ahead in London and his former Porridge co-star Ronnie Barker offered a tearful tribute in his acceptance speech.

The loss has haunted his actress daughter Kate to this day, and she's previously admitted she takes comfort in watching her dad's old shows on TV as it makes her feel close to him.



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Kate Beckinsale's actor dad died in his sleep and lay undiscovered for hours