Ex-EastEnders star’s killer boyfriend dies in jail while serving life for murdering man with steak knife

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THE murderer boyfriend of former EastEnders star Nicola Cowper has died of cancer in jail.

Tony McCann, 61, who was serving a minimum of 21 years for killing a man with a steak knife over a stolen phone, died on Monday.

Tony McCann (R), the murderer boyfriend of EastEnders star Nicola Cowper (L), has died in jail
McCann, who died age 61 behind cars, was jailed after he disguised himself with a ski mask before broke into a man’s home, stabbing him in the back with a kitchen knife

Nicola played Cindy Beale’s sister in the Gina from 1998-2014 in the Albert Square soap

A family source said he had been diagnosed with liver and kidney cancer around six months ago.

He died at high-security HMP Gartree in Leics.

Nicola, 52, played Gina Williams – the sister of Cindy Beale – sporadically from 1998 to 2014 in EastEnders.

She also appeared in The Bill, Casualty and BBC medical drama Dangerfield.

She is understood to have stuck by McCann – who is the father of her twin daughters Tilly and Dora, 21 – while he was inside.

The Prison Service said: “HMP Gartree prisoner Tony McCann died on October 19 and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.”

Nicola stood by McCann after he was locked up for 15 years for armed robbery in 1988, two years after they met.

He was caged in 2008 for the murder of Luke Hodge, 33.

McCann stabbed him at his victim’s home in Twickenham, South West London, because he thought he stole a £20 phone and was bullying his friends.

Nicola stood by McCann after he was caged for murder in 2008