Fans of the long-running soap “EastEnders” are devastated all over again, having mourned the death of Leonard Fenton’s Dr. Harold Legg in 2019 when the character died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Fenton’s incredible legacy on the show was in part due to his ease of slipping into the character, especially as he referred to himself as an “old cockney,” according to the Mirror. “It was the first time I’d played myself on TV,” he explained. “I’m normally a character actor, but Dr. Legg was based on me.”
Fenton would laugh at the fact that viewers often asked his advice when they were ill. “There was one amazing case of a woman who went to a friend of mine, who was in group practice, and asked them if she could change to me, and was told, ‘No, he’s an actor,'” he recalled, per the Mirror. “She got very shirty with him.”
His co-star June Brown paid tribute in a statement about her dear friend: “He was a charming man in all ways, first as a person and then as an actor, extremely polite and kind,” she said. “I enjoyed working with him enormously for many years and missed him when he retired. I was glad that I’d been with him for his last scene with Dot at his bedside and my thoughts are with his devoted family.” This, along with the many other heartfelt messages and tributes arising with Fenton’s death, shows how significant his performance and continuing presence was for so many.