Actor Simon MacCorkindale, who played Dr Harry Harper in Casualty for six years, has died aged 58 after a lengthy battle against cancer.

The star, who had been married to actress Susan George since 1984, appeared in the BBC One medical drama from 2002 to 2008, as well as the spin-off series Holby City.

His publicist Max Clifford said he passed away in his wife’s arms at the London Clinic, Harley Street, on Thursday night.

“No-one could have fought this disease any harder than he did since being diagnosed four years ago,” George said on Friday. “He fought it with such strength, courage and belief.

“Last night he lost his battle, and he died peacefully in my arms. To me he was simply the best of everything, and I loved him with all my heart. He will live on in me forever.”

As well as Casualty, Simon enjoyed a successful career spanning several decades.

Most notably he appeared in TV shows including 80s ‘super-soap’ Falcon Crest and the short-lived Manimal, in which he played a crime-fighter who could transform himself into various different animals.

He also made guest appearances in a string of hit shows including Dynasty, Hart To Hart, Fantasy Island and The Dukes Of Hazzard, as well as such films as 1978’s Death On The Nile and the sequel Jaws 3-D.

Simon was diagnosed with bowel cancer four years ago and underwent surgery during a two-week filming break on Casualty in 2006.

However, he only went public on his illness when his condition deteriorated and he was forced to quit his role in Casualty.

“I didn’t want to make a fuss,” he said last year. “We are very private people and wanted to deal with it on our own.”

Prior to marrying Susan George, Simon was married to actor Fiona Fullerton but the pair divorced in 1982. He had no children.