Prime Suspect star John Benfield dies at the age of 68 after battling a rare cancer
John Benfield died at the age of 68 after a battle with Sarcoma, a rare cancer, was revealed on Wednesday.
The Prime Suspect star, whose real name was John Turner, is said to have died on June 16 at the Sobell House Hospice in Oxford, according to the Oxford Mail.
Known for playing DCS Michael Kernan opposite Helen Mirren on the ITV show, the actor leaves behind his wife of 31-year-old Lilian, son Freddie and grandson Rex.
Tragic: Prime Suspect star John Benfield died aged 68 after battling a rare cancer, was revealed Wednesday
John’s agent Markham, Froggatt & Irwin said he always “brought truth and integrity into his roles and was an imposing, strong and robust figure, with a soul and faith in his trade.”
MailOnline has contacted John’s representatives for comment.
Born in Essex in 1961, John started his acting career after graduating from Nottingham University and the Webber Douglas School of Drama.
He has appeared over 70 TV shows or movies over the years, with special highlights including In The Name Of The Father and Speed Racer
RIP: Known for his role as DCS Michael Kernan opposite Helen Mirren on the ITV show (pictured), John leaves behind wife of 31-year-old Lilian, son Freddie and grandson Rex
Passing: The actor, whose real name was John Turner, is said to have died on June 16 at Sobell House Hospice, which is located in Oxford
John has worked with Sam Mendes, Ken Loach and Woody Allen, among others, but made a name for himself in Prime Suspect as Mirren’s boss in the military.
The series ran from 1991 to 2006, investigating misogyny in the police as Helen’s detective chief inspector, Jane Tennison navigates the male-dominated profession and proves her worth with the support of her boss.
Helen became a household name thanks to her role in Prime Suspect, which she won best actress at the British Academy Television Awards.
Iconic role: John worked with Sam Mendes and Ken Loach throughout his career, but made a name for himself in Prime Suspect as Mirren’s boss in the military (pictured with Craig Fairbrass)
Helen told The Sunday Times’ Culture Magazine last year that she thinks things have ‘changed significantly’ for women in the industry since she appeared in Prime Suspect.
She explained, “In the past 10 years – or actually the last three or four years – things have changed significantly.
When I first did Prime Suspect, they were not at all sure whether a female-led drama would be acceptable to the public. So much has changed since we started Prime Suspect. It has changed a lot. ‘
Groundbreaking Show: Aired between 1991 and 2006, it saw Helen’s DCI Jane Tennison navigate the male-dominated profession with the support of her boss, played by John