Heartbeat actor William Simons dies aged 79: ‘He’ll be terribly missed’

The actor played PC Alf Ventress

Heartbeat actor William Simons has passed away at the age of 79, his agent confirmed on Saturday.

The Swansea-born star played PC Alf Ventress in all 18 series of the ITV show from 1992 to 2010.

In a statement confirming his death, his agent said: “I confirm the extremely sad news that the actor William Simons has passed away.

“He worked as an actor for six decades and was of course best known for his role of ‘Alf Ventress’ in the highly popular Heartbeat in which he appeared for eighteen series, and also Inspector Fox in Inspector Alleyn.

“He was a wonderful, kind, warm, witty, lovely human being and anyone who ever worked with him or knew him will be devastated.”

His agent added to The Sun Online: “He’ll be just terribly missed by anyone who ever met him.

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“He was a much loved human, the word gentleman really applied to him. He was a gentle man.

“He worked every single year until about three years ago.”

William also had roles in Coronation Street, The Sweeney and Minder in his impressive 60-year acting career.

Speaking of his iconic role in Heartbeat during a rare interview in 2013, William said: “Alf Ventress had no particular ambition in life. He spent his time behind the desk; he was a heavy smoker – unlike me. I don’t smoke, so we used herbal cigarettes.

“Heartbeat gave me enormous pleasure because everyone got along so well. People still stop me to say how much they love watching the repeats.”