‘Do not forget us’ Richard E Grant’s wife asked him to ‘let her go’ during final days

Richard E Grant dances with wife Joan Washington in old clip

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Richard E Grant, 64, has paid tribute to his wife of 35 years, Joan Washington, who died of lung cancer last week. The Withnail And I actor and his dialect coach spouse found out about her stage four lung cancer diagnosis eight months before her death.

He described how Joan asked him and their daughter, Olivia, “to let her go” during her gruelling battle with the disease.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, he said: “Since her stage four lung cancer diagnosis two days before Christmas, she was accepting, clear sighted, sanguine and totally without self pity.

“The oncology team at the Royal Marsden Hospital, NHS nurses, Price’s Mill Surgery and Longfield palliative carers have been beyond exemplary.

“It’s been my privilege to be by your side, sharing our last eight months together, enabling us to say everything we possibly wanted and needed to, so that when you asked Olivia and me two weeks ago ‘to let me go’, we unequivocally said ‘yes’.

“Olivia and I are profoundly grateful for everything that you’ve gifted us with, and we’re relieved that you no longer have to struggle for breath.”

Last Friday, Richard took to Instagram to share the tragic news with his fans.

He shared a throwback video of him and Joan dancing to The Platters’ Only You.

In view of his 197,000 followers, he wrote: “ONLY YOU! Joan – Love of my Life, giver of Life to our daughter Olivia.

“Our hearts are broken with the loss of your Life last night. 35 years married and 38 together.

“To be truly known and seen by you, is your immeasurable gift. Do not forget us, sweet Monkee-mine.”

The poignant post prompted an outpouring of messages of support for Richard and his family.

One Instagram user wrote: “Oh Richard. My deepest condolences.

“Sending you and Olivia much love and strength.

“Joan was an amazing women (sic). I’m so sad to see this.”

Another person added: “I can’t believe this sad news.

“Sending so much love to you both. And thinking of you so much.

“Joan was incredible. One of the world’s great teachers.

“It was a privilege to know her and have been in her orbit. And your guys’ love story is just an inspiration.”

Actor Nicholas Hoult said: “What an amazing couple. Love you and Joan, the time spent with you both was truly magical.

“I can never thank her enough for all her kindness, the lessons she taught me and the memories I’ll cherish. Sending you so much love.”

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