Apr. 30th, 1947
Camberwell, London, England, UK
Leslie Grantham's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2004 - Charlie
2000 - The Wedding Tackle
1985 - Morons From Outer Space
Guest TV Roles
Leslie Michael Grantham (born 30 April 1947) is an English actor best known for his role as "Dirty" Den Watts in the soap opera EastEnders. He is also a convicted murderer, having served 10 years for the killing of a German taxi driver, and he generated significant press coverage as the result of an online sex scandal in 2004.
Early life Grantham was born in Camberwell, London, the son of Adelaide (née Flinders) and Walter William Grantham (1915–1998), and enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers regiment of the British Army in 1962, at the age of 15. On 3 December 1966 he attempted to rob a German taxi driver, Felix Reese. A struggle between Grantham and the driver followed, and Reese died from a gunshot wound to the head. In his statement to the police following his arrest, he claimed that he did not know the gun was loaded and it had gone off during a struggle with the taxi driver. He was subsequently convicted of murder, a surprise verdict after being advised by his lawyer that a manslaughter verdict would probably be returned.
Grantham was sentenced to life imprisonment at his trial in 1967. Although he had committed the killing in Osnabrück, Germany, he served the entirety of his imprisonment in various British prisons. This was because soldiers and officers convicted of any criminal offence that warrants a sentence of over two years are automatically transferred to HM Prison Service, since they are also automatically dishonourably discharged. Grantham was released in 1977, having served 10 years. While he was in Leyhill Prison, he acted in several plays for inmates and members of the public, and edited the prison newspaper. He was encouraged to get more involved in acting professionally by disgraced politician T. Dan Smith, who had also been an inmate at Leyhill. He also met actress Louise Jameson during her visit to Leyhill in the mid 1970s; she had also encouraged him to take up acting.
- On the DVD of 'Resurrection Of The Daleks', director Matthew Robinson says he offered Grantham the choice of two roles: Galloway or Kiston. Grantham choose Kiston because he had more screen time
- Loves football and is a West Ham United Supporter
- He was convicted of murder while in the army: he shot a taxi driver in the back of the head while attempting to rob him, and served ten years in prison. While at Leyhill Prison in Gloucestershire, he met 'Louise Jameson' (qv) who was working as a prison visitor in her spare time. She persuaded him to become an actor.
- Plays cricket for a charity team called "The Bunburys".
- He also does a wine slot on a morning programme every now and again.
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