The Bill actor George Rossi dies aged 60


The Bill star George Rossi has died at the age of 60.

The actor played DC Duncan Lennox for 20 years in the ITV drama. His passing was announced in a statement from his niece on social media.

Rossi died on Wednesday January 5, with his niece Louisa writing that he had still been acting ‘up until recently.’ His cause of death is unknown.

Sad news: The Bill star George Rossi has died at the age of 60. The actor played DC Duncan Lennox for 20 years in the ITV drama (pictured in 2006)

‘Unfortunately George Rossi who played DC Duncan Lennox passed away the morning of Wednesday 5th January 2022,’ Louise wrote on Twitter.

‘This is my uncle,’ she added. ‘He was acting still up until recently. Unfortunately he passed away yesterday morning.

The actor leaves behind his wife Catrine, who he married in 1988, and their two children Santino and Matilda.

Glasgow-born George made his debut in The Bill in 1993, and would go on to appear in almost 200 episodes over the next 20 years. He left the drama in 2003. 

He also appeared in a string of other well-known TV programmes including Taggart, and the first two series’ of Whitechapel between 2009 and 2010, portraying another detective, DC McCormack. 

Fan favourite: George made his debut in The Bill in 1993, and would go on to appear in almost 200 episodes (pictured as Lennox)

Fan favourite: George made his debut in The Bill in 1993, and would go on to appear in almost 200 episodes (pictured as Lennox)

George also starred in the 1984 movie Comfort and Joy alongside his brother Peter, and appeared as Kevin in Roughnecks.

The actor appeared in medical dramas Holby City and Casualty, as well as TV series The Singing Detective, and he starred opposite Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, and Fulton Mackay in 1983 comedy-drama film Local Hero.

In 2013, George appeared as Gianpaolo Albertini in BBC soap Doctors, and in 2011 he starred as Marco in Hustle.

'Warm colleague': Rossi spent 20 years playing Lennox, before leaving the ITV serial drama in 2003 (pictured far right with The Bill co-stars including friend Billy Murray second left)

‘Warm colleague’: Rossi spent 20 years playing Lennox, before leaving the ITV serial drama in 2003 (pictured far right with The Bill co-stars including friend Billy Murray second left)

Tributes: Billy Murray, who played Don Beech in The Bill from 1995 to 2004, tweeted that Rossi was 'a funny, warm colleague at The Bill and a fine actor'

Tributes: Billy Murray, who played Don Beech in The Bill from 1995 to 2004, tweeted that Rossi was ‘a funny, warm colleague at The Bill and a fine actor’

ITV star: Pictured with Chris Ellison as DCI Frank Burnside and Lorraine Chase as Betty on The Bill

ITV star: Pictured with Chris Ellison as DCI Frank Burnside and Lorraine Chase as Betty on The Bill

Memories: Actor Ben Peyton recalled sharing scenes with the popular actor in his first days of playing Ben Hayward on The Bill

Memories: Actor Ben Peyton recalled sharing scenes with the popular actor in his first days of playing Ben Hayward on The Bill 

During his career he featured alongside major names like Jean Reno, Chris O’Donnell and Sandra Bullock.

His final project was as David in the film Le Cineaste – A Director’s Journey, which he filmed in 2020. 

Billy Murray, who played Don Beech in The Bill from 1995 to 2004, tweeted a tribute on Friday, writing: ‘Devastated to hear #GeorgeRossi has died. A funny, warm colleague at The Bill and a fine actor. 60 no age. RIP my friend.’ 

Actor Ben Peyton, who played Ben Hayward on The Bill from 2000-2003 recalled how Rossi was ‘a gent’ on set, tweeting: ‘I remember when I’d just started and we had to talk together in the background of a scene before I walked out of shot and he carried the scene on.’

‘I’d always say “Cheers, Sir,” as I left even though we were the same rank (PC & DC). I had no idea and assumed he was my superior. I must’ve said it about five or six times before someone pointed it out. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I said. “Because it was funny,” he chuckled.’

Actress Tracie Bennett, who appeared alongside Rossi in The Bill and various other TV dramas, tweeted her condolences, writing: ‘R.I.P. George Rossi. Can’t believe it. We used to laugh til we cried. Also a very gentle and a wonderful man. Gone too young. Condolences to family. Go well my lovely.’  

Colleague: Actress Tracie Bennett, who appeared alongside Rossi in The Bill and various other TV dramas, tweeted her condolences, writing: 'R.I.P. George Rossi. Can’t believe it'

Colleague: Actress Tracie Bennett, who appeared alongside Rossi in The Bill and various other TV dramas, tweeted her condolences, writing: ‘R.I.P. George Rossi. Can’t believe it’

Sad loss: Director and producer Erron Gordon tweeted: 'Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of George Rossi who played DC Duncan Lennox in The Bill. Condolences to his family'

Sad loss: Director and producer Erron Gordon tweeted: ‘Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of George Rossi who played DC Duncan Lennox in The Bill. Condolences to his family’

Casting director Claire Toeman added: ‘Rest in peace George Rossi you were the dearest of friends you will be sorely missed.’ 

Director and producer Erron Gordon tweeted: ‘Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of George Rossi who played DC Duncan Lennox in The Bill. Condolences to his family and friends. RIP.’

Born in Govan, Glasgow, Rossi was of Italian descent and worked alongside his family in their ice-cream van. He trained at East 15 Acting School in Debden, Essex

Last year, former The Bill star Ben Roberts – who portrayed Chief Inspector Derek Conway in the ITV drama from 1987 to 2002 – died aged 70.

His agents LCM Limited wrote on Twitter at the time: ‘Remembering the wonderful Ben Roberts who sadly passed away on Monday. Best known as Chief Inspector Derek Conway in The Bill & he had an extensive career in theatre, TV & film. Our thoughts are with his wife Helen & family at this time. (sic)’

TV star: He also appeared in a string of other well-known TV programmes including Taggart, and the first two series' of Whitechapel between 2009 and 2010 (pictured in 1994)

TV star: He also appeared in a string of other well-known TV programmes including Taggart, and the first two series’ of Whitechapel between 2009 and 2010 (pictured in 1994)

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