One of The Bill's longest serving stars has died after a suspected suicide, it emerged today.
Colin Tarrant, who played the no-nonsense Inspector Andrew Monroe, was found in the bathroom at his Bristol home.
The 59-year-old was rushed to Bristol Royal Infirmary where doctors battled in vain to save his life.
It is understood that his son Juma Woodhouse, 24, made a desperate dash to his dying father's bedside.
A family statement from Mr Woodhouse, his partner Sabrina and baby son Louis did not disclose details of the circumstances surrounding Mr Tarrant's death, only confirming that he died 'suddenly'.
It said: 'Colin was best known as Inspector Andrew Monroe in the television series The Bill, a part he played very happily for many years.
'Since leaving the series he has triumphed on stage as Brian Clough in The Spirit Of The Ma and had recently played John in the enormously successful stage production of Calendar Girls, and to which he would have returned this autumn.'
Mr Tarrant's apparent suicide has left those who knew the actor shocked.
Tragic: Colin Tarrant was found in his Bristol home. His son rushed to his bedside as doctors battled to save his life
Speaking to The People, a source close to Mr Tarrant said: 'No one can understand why something like this could have happened, he was very passionate about life and still really excited about his acting.'
His agent Dennis Lyne added: 'It has happened very suddenly. I don't want to say any more at this time.'
Mr Tarrant's death on Thursday is one of a number of personal tragedies to hit The Bill.
In 2008, Jeff Stewart attempted to kill himself on set in his dressing room after his character PC Reg Hollis was cut from the show.
And in 1998 Kevin Lloyd - who played Tosh Lines - died just one week after being sacked for turning up to work drunk and not learning his lines.
After leaving The Bill in 2002, Mr Tarrant, who has another son aged just six-months old - made a number of one-off TV appearances in shows such as Holby City, Casualty and Midsomer Murders.
He split from his former long-term partner Patricia Woodhouse more than a decade ago.
Their son Mr Woodhouse - who lives in Hackney, East London, is believed to have fallen out with his father when he announced he was leaving London.
Mr Tarrant was a teacher before taking up acting.
He said: 'Colin was a lovely man, he loved the theatre, his politics and his family, our hearts must go out to his son Juma, his partner Sabrina and their baby son Louis.
Edited by Cheetah, 29 January 2012 - 03:11 PM.
Font edited for clarity