Stuart Organ death: Grange Hill actor dies aged 72

Organ photographed in 1996  (ITV/Shutterstock)
Organ photographed in 1996 (ITV/Shutterstock)

Grange Hill star Stuart Organ has died aged 72, his representatives have confirmed.

The British actor was the longest-serving cast member on the BBC children’s TV show, playing headmaster Peter Robson.

Organ “died peacefully at home after a short illness”, it was announced on Friday (23 February).

He began his acting career in Leeds in 1975, and went on to appear in sci-fi series Doctor Who and portrayed Kevin Cross in the soap Brookside.

The actor will be best remembered for his 15-year stint on the BBC show, where his character arrived as the head of PE in 1988, and was promoted to the headmaster role 10 years later.

The show, which ran from 1978 to 2008, was about life in a London comprehensive school, and made headlines for tackling big issues such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and mental illness. It went on to make household names of characters such as Zammo McGuire, played by Lee MacDonald, and Tucker Jenkins, played by Todd Carty.

Organ, Grange Hill’s longest-serving star, pictured in 2015 (Getty Images)
Organ, Grange Hill’s longest-serving star, pictured in 2015 (Getty Images)

Organ left the show in 2003 after it was announced that production was moving to Liverpool.

His career also included appearances in medical dramas Casualty and Holby City and a number of 1990s films including Those Glory Glory Days, festive movie Present Spirits and Fork In The Road. More recently, Organ provided voiceovers for Star Wars video games and played a doctor in the Netflix series Bridgerton.

Organ started his professional career at Leeds Playhouse in a performance of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, a spin-off of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and would also tread the boards as Judge Turpin in Queens Theatre Hornchurch’s Sweeney Todd.

His other theatre roles include An Englishman Abroad, in which he played Guy Burgess in a 2003 production in York and Major Powell in the play Corpse, performed in Hornchurch in 2007.

With additional reporting from PA.