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Actor Sam Gannon who played Kev in Emmerdale dies suddenly in California




An actor who appeared in Emmerdale died suddenly while in the United States.

Sam Gannon, 31, who played Kev in the Yorkshire soap in 2019, was staying with his family in Willows, California when he died. His death is not considered suspicious.

His sister Amy Kelly, who lives in Howden, described him as “a whirlwind, unique character”.

She said: “He really cared about others and was a very sensitive soul.”

Sam starred as carriage driver Kevin Emmerdale, alongside Emma Atkins, who plays CharityDingle.

Sam Gannon played Kev in Emmerdale Credit: ITV/Emmerdale

Best known for his stage performances, he grew up in Brayton near Selby, North Yorkshire and was a member of the Northumberland Theater Company, who said in a social media post that they were “deeply saddened to hear the death of one of our own”.

The band added, “He delighted the audience with his charm, wit and wonderful musical abilities.

“Sam has been described by many as being like a human Duracell bunny, with boundless energy, always running around the rehearsal room and having almost too many creative ideas to keep locked away in his brain. In short, Sam could sometimes be a handful! But he was always fantastic as soon as you brought him on that stage.

“He was also described as a really lovely boy, a wonderful human and a good friend to many.”

Sam Gannon, left, was best known as a stage actor. Credit: Facebook

A crowdfunding appeal has been launched to pay for Sam’s repatriation and burial costs.

Writing on the Just Giving website, Jonathan Kelly, who launched the appeal, said: “Sam was a true performer, and any extra money raised will be donated to a UK charity supporting theater for young people, a cause that stands heart to Sam.

“Amy, Sam’s sister, is also considering starting a foundation in Sam’s name to support people who are in a similar situation to him and need extra support.”

Unscripted is ITV News’ arts and entertainment podcast, hosted by ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar. Listen to the latest episode here.




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