Jack Smethurst, a resident of Chorleywood and one-time star of one of the country’s most popular sitcoms, has peacefully passed away at the age of 89.
Confirming the news of the actor’s passing on Twitter, on February 6 his son Adam stated: “Today we said farewell to our dear Dad. He was much loved and brought joy to many. Our entire family give thanks to a long and fruitful life.”
Jack was Manchester-born but had raised his family in Chorleywood, having married his wife Julie Nicholls in 1957 and having four children.
From 1972 to 1976, he starred as the lead role in the hit ITV sitcom Love Thy Neighbour, which became one of the most popular comedies of the decade. Jack played bigoted factory worker Eddie Booth, who would often war with black neighbour Bill Reynolds due to his views.
The show has always proved controversial due to its handling of the issue of racism, whilst others have defended it as a show that would often criticise Eddie’s racist viewpoints, with episodes often ending with him looking foolish.
Jack also featured in many other hit series and films of the era, including sitcom For the Love of Ada, Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire and four appearances in soap opera Coronation Street.
He is survived by his wife Julie, four children, eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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