Harry Whittaker, a toddler who played Leo Dingle in the soap opera Emmerdale, has died aged three.
Emmerdale actors led tributes to the child, who first appeared on the show in 2011, and a message appeared on screen honouring him on Thursday’s broadcast.
“We were lucky to know you and hear your laugh,” tweeted Mark Charnock, who plays Whittaker’s on-screen dad Marlon Dingle. “You lit up our lives, dearest, loveliest Harry.”
Whittaker made his debut on the program in 2011, as part of a storyline during which Maron and Rhona Goskirk have a child with Down’s Syndrome. He shared the role with another boy, Theo Tasker.
“We’re all utterly heartbroken but blessed to have known Harry,” tweeted Zoe Henry, who plays Rhona Goskirk, Whittaker’s mother, on the soap. “Best partner I ever had.”
The channel said that Whittaker had died on 1 July, and his cause of death has not yet been announced.