Richard E Grant shares heartbreaking video after death of wife Joan Washington


He did not give a cause of death for voice coach Joan, 71. Withnail and I star Grant, 64, posted a video of them dancing to Only You, by The Platters, before embracing.

He wrote: “Only You! Joan ‑ Love of my Life & Giver of Life to our daughter Olivia. Our hearts are broken with the loss of your Life. 35 years married & 38 together.

“To be truly known and seen by you, is your immeasurable gift. Do not forget us, sweet Monkee-mine.”


They married in 1986, having met when she taught an accents session at acting school. Grant said he had not considered marriage until he met Joan, believing it to be “unnecessary”.

After they spent six weeks apart while he visited family in South Africa, Grant proposed to Joan at Heathrow when he returned.

They had Olivia in 1989, after Joan had three miscarriages. He is also stepdad to her son Tom from a previous relationship.


Aberdeen-born Joan trained at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama and worked in film for nearly 40 years.

Among her early projects in the 1980s were Yentl, starring Barbra Streisand, and The Bounty featuring Mel Gibson and Sir Anthony Hopkins. She also worked with Dawn French, Anne Hathaway (The Witches), Vanessa Redgrave and Emma Stone (The Favourite).

Tributes poured in from big names of stage and screen. Vicar of Dibley star Dawn, 63, wrote online: “Joan Washington will ALWAYS be remembered by those of us who knew her & were taught by her, as a PHENOMENAL WOMAN. So much love to @RichardEGrant & all the family.”


Cookery guru Nigella Lawson, 61, said: “What a wonderful woman Joan Washington was. And how devastating to have to say ‘was’. May her memory be a blessing.”

Golden Globe winning actress Jessica Chastain, 44, wrote: “My heart is broken now. Joan had such a profound impact on me, yes as an artist, but mostly as a woman. I’ve looked toward her. 

“Her strive towards excellence made her a celebrated dialect coach.” 


BBC Line of Duty star Jason Watkins, 54, said online: “The incomparable Joan Washington has died.

“Joan taught me dialects and accents when I trained at [Royal Academy of Dramatic Art] and beyond. I have made my career using accents and dialects. I owe her everything. Such a terrible loss to @RichardEGrant. Rest in Peace.”


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