Emmerdale star Harry Whittaker has died, with last night’s episode of the soap dedicated to him.

Harry was three-years-old and was one of two children to play Leo Dingle in Emmerdale since 2011, and the show marked his passing with a smiling photo of him captioned: “For Harry, with love,” at the end of the July 10 episode.

The young actor had Down’s Syndrome and played Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) and Rhona Goskirk’s (Zoe Henry) son, but his cause of death was not stated.

Mark led tributes on Twitter, posting: “Our superhero. We were lucky to know you and hear your laugh. You lit up our lives, dearest, loveliest Harry,” alongside a photo of Harry in a Spider-Man costume.

Following a huge number of messages of support from fans, he later tweeted: “Thank you all. We’ll all pass on your overwhelming response to Harry’s amazing family. Thank you for all your kind words. It means a lot. Xx.”

An Emmerdale spokesperson said: “Very sadly we can confirm Harry Whittaker’s passing last Tuesday 1st July.

“We will all miss him greatly and have offered our sincerest condolences to his family at this very sad time.”