Much-loved veteran Bill actor George Rossi, whose will shows he left an astounding £8 million, made his fortune through two decades of shrewd investment in London’s property market, MailOnline has learned.
George, 60, who played Detective Duncan Lennox on the hit series for 20 years, died of pancreatic cancer in January 2022.
Although the £8,059,966.67 ‘gross value’ of his estate made headlines, he was actually left with only £3,660,996.36 after his debts and bills were subtracted, part of which may have been in the form of outstanding letting mortgages.
The fortune he amassed was bequeathed to his widow Catrin, who said at the time of his death, “George was a wonderful human being.”
Their two children also benefited.
The Bill star George Rossi, pictured in London’s Sky Garden before his untimely death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 60 in January 2020
Now a picture has emerged of how he grew the small real estate empire that steadily increased in value by renting out properties and reinvesting the money in more bricks and mortar – backed by regular payments for his acting work that appeared worldwide.
Through his company, Fortuna London Limited, George owned two flats in a smart development in Crouch End, north London, which were purchased in February 2020 for around £600,000 each.
The Fortuna company’s latest accounts for 2021 put the value of the apartments at £1.66 million and the company’s net assets at around £1.1 million, up from just £395,000 last year.
He was also the sole owner of the family home in Hornsey, north London, according to land registry records, bought in 2005 for £830,000 and now valued at up to £3 million by Zoopla.
George Rossi in the Bill (far right). He built a real estate empire with the money he earned from his acting career
In May 2022, ownership of Fortuna London changed as a result of George’s death. He owned 60 of the 100 shares that passed to his Catrin, his son Santino, 24, and daughter Matilda, 26, each of whom individually owned 20 shares.
He was also a director of Kenilworth Lodge (Waverley Road) Management Ltd. This appears to be linked to owning a flat which he sold for £470,000 in 2021.
Another source of income for the actor would have been a potentially significant amount of money from “leftovers” or repeat fees from his 190 appearances on The Bill between 1998 and 2003.
Due to the explosion of reruns on satellite and digital TV, actors who have regularly appeared in favorites like The Bill can expect a healthy income from their past work.
Another source of income for the actor would have been a potentially significant amount of money from ‘leftovers’ or repeated fees from his 190 appearances at The Bill (pictured in central London)
The actor pictured with his family, wife Catrin (center), son Santino (top right) and daughter Matilda (bottom right)
He bequeathed his estate to Catrin, naming her one of his executors alongside Matilda and Santino.
Of Italian descent, George was born in Govan, Glasgow and worked in the family’s ice cream business before training at East 15 Acting School near London.
His first screen appearance was in the 1984 Bill Forsyth film Comfort and Joy alongside his brother Pete and he had many television roles before landing a regular role in 1998’s The Bill as DC Lennox.
His character first appeared in a 1993 episode before returning as a series regular in 1998. He left the drama in 2003.
Before his regular appearance in The Bill, he had appeared in Roughnecks, Max Headroom’s film, The Singing Detective, and starred opposite Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Peter Capaldi, and Hollywood legend Burt Lancaster in another Bill Forsyth comedy-drama film from 1983. Local hero.
The Bill actor George Rossi left £8 million in his will (pictured in 2006)
He also appeared in Doctors, Casualty, Whitechapel and Holby City, as well as Hotel Babylon and Ultimate Force.
He starred in a range of other well-known TV shows including Taggart and the first two series of Whitechapel between 2009 and 2010 playing another detective, DC McCormack.
In 2013, Rossi appeared as Gianpaolo Albertini in the BBC soap opera Doctors, and in 2011 he starred as Marco in Hustle.
His last performance was in Le Cineaste – A Director’s Journey in 2020.
Rossi continued to act almost until his death, signing his will on November 25, 2021, just weeks before his untimely death.
During his career he performed alongside big names such as Jean Reno, Chris O’Donnell and Sandra Bullock.
Rossi also starred in Doctors, Casualty, Whitechapel and Holby City (pictured)
At the beginning of last year, his widow announced that he had died of cancer in the presence of his family.
Catrin told MailOnline at the time, “George was a wonderful person. He passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.
“He died at home, that’s what he wanted. We will miss him terribly and we are all very grieving at this time trying to process this huge loss. The kids are devastated, as am I.’
“It was to be expected, but this has hit us hard and we really don’t know what else to say.”