Emmerdale dedicated tonight’s episode to Freddie Thomas in a touching gesture.
The actor, who played Sandy Thomas, died earlier this week aged 91.
Following this evening’s episode, a picture of the star aired along with text, which read: “In Loving Memory of Freddie Jones 1927 – 2019.”
His agent confirmed the heartbreaking news of his death on Wednesday.
A statement from Emmerdale paid tribute to the much-loved star.
“Everyone at Emmerdale is deeply sad to hear about the death of one of the show’s most brilliant actors and favourite human beings, Freddie Jones,” said a spokeswoman.
“Freddie was part of Emmerdale for many years and he brought his unique, energetic, infectious, twinkle to every scene he was in.”
Freddie was the father of British acting legend Toby Jones and two other sons in the industry – the director Rupert Jones and actor Casper Jones. His wife – their mother – is the actress Jennifer Heslewood.
He was part of the show for 13 years, joining in 2005 and filing his last scene in 2018.
Freddie had an interesting background, having worked as a lab assistant for ten years before signing up to acting on a full-time basis.
He joined the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company and found fame as a stage actor, before dabbling in film and television work.
As well as his role on Emmerdale, Freddie was known for his stage work, impressing critics with his portrayal of Standley in the Pinter-directed revival of The Birthday Party.
He was also in films The Elephant Man, Dune and Wild At Heart, as well as the TV series On The Air in 1992.
Freddie made his first appearance in Emmerdale as Ashley’s dad in 2005, on his son’s wedding day.
The pair were estranged after he helped Ashley’s mother die from a terminal illness but they became close again after spending time together.
However he was left devastated when it was revealed that Ashley was suffering from early onset dementia and later died.
Speaking about his decision to leave the soap, Freddie told the Radio Times last year: “The company generously offered me another 12 months. But I just thought, ‘I have no idea what I’m going to do in another bloody year!’ The drama that Ashley’s death [Jones’s screen son, played by John Middleton] gave me last year was monumental.
“But that’s gone now. I travel three hours by car, book into a hotel and then get up the next day to say maybe three sentences. And then do a three-hour journey back. I can’t justify staying, even though Emmerdale was very generous in asking me to.”
Freddie leaves behind his wife Jennifer and their three sons.
You can leave your tributes to Freddie in the comments below.