DANIEL Laurie is probably best known for playing the role of Reggie Jackson in BBC One’s Call The Midwife.
But, what many viewers may not know about the young actor is that he is closely related to a former Eastenders villain!
Daniel, who joined the cast of the long-running period drama in 2017 is the son of Leslie Grantham, who played ‘Dirty Den’ Watts in EastEnders.
Daniel received huge praise and rave reviews for his Call the Midwife role and helped raise the profile of actors with Down’s syndrome.
In a 2014 interview, Daniel spoke about having Down’s syndrome, and said: “Basically having Down’s syndrome is kinda cool. To me it’s absolutely cool.”
During Call the Midwife’s sixth season, Daniel joined as Reggie – who goes to live with his uncle Fred Buckle after his mother’s death.
Before his part on Call the Midwife, Daniel, who uses his mother’s surname, had also made appearances in Vera and Stella, and Finding Alice.
Grantham married Jane Laurie in 1981 and had three sons – with Daniel the youngest – before they divorced in 2013.
Grantham passed away in 2018 after a battle with lung cancer.
Grantham played the role of Dirty Den twice, first from 1985–1989 then, after his ‘death’ and resurrection, returning from 2003–2005.
Following a sex scandal in 2004 he was written out of EastEnders with Den’s new wife Chrissie (Tracy Ann Oberman) killing him.
Prior to his time on EastEnders, Grantham spent 10 years in prison, completing a fraction of a life sentence.
On 3 December 1966, while serving in the British Army in West Germany, Grantham attempted to rob a taxi driver, Felix Reese.
In a struggle between the two men, Reese died after being shot in the head with Grantham telling police officers that he did not know the gun was loaded and it had gone off.
At his trial in 1967, he was subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Grantham was released in 1977, having served 10 years. In 1984 he audition for a role in a new and upcoming BBC soap opera called EastEnders.