Amanda Redman Reveals New Tricks Co-Star Dennis Waterman’s Death ‘Falled’ Her
Dennis Waterman was a familiar face on British television for over six decades.
From tough cop George Carter in The Sweeney to kind-hearted Detective Sergeant Gerry Standing in New Tricks, he was known for playing action-packed characters who had more than meets the eye.
Not one to focus on a single role, Waterman was also an accomplished singer, stage actor, and movie star.
Born in 1948 in Clapham, south-west London, the youngest of nine children, he was surrounded by the arts from an early age thanks to his older sister Joy, who ran her own amateur theater society and encouraged the rest of the Waterman children to join.
His mother also dabbled in music, playing the piano in a way that Waterman once described as “kneeling work in the East End”.
Waterman joined the Corona Theater School in 1959 following a suggestion from another of her sisters and soon found work in the industry.
Dennis Waterman, whose acting and singing career spanned six decades, died aged 74
He made his film debut in 1960 in Night Train For Inverness.
Also at the age of 12, Waterman was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon.
He followed with the TV series Just William and spent a year in the West End playing Winthrop Parroo in The Music Man.
At 16, he starred in the West End in Carving A Statue, which marked the start of a recording career and a three-year engagement at the Royal Court.
During this time his versatility as an actor was stretched in productions ranging from Edward Bond’s Saved to Twelfth Night and Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance.
Further television and theater stints led to him landing a role in Nell Dunn’s Up The Junction in 1967, playing Pete, a man from his native Clapham, who meets an upper-class girl from Chelsea, in west London, and starts dating her.
Waterman became a household name after starring as DS George Carter on the detective series The Sweeney, in which he co-starred with John Thaw. Worldwide popularity led to two box office hits, Sweeney I and Sweeney II.
He later reflected fondly on his time on the show, saying in his Life And Times documentary: “We knew we were doing something really special and very different from British television.
“There was no concern then, which I think helped. There was no great panic as to whether it was going to be a ratings hit.
“We just knew we had great scripts, we had great directors, and we thought we weren’t that bad. John [Thaw] and I was good friends and, it sounds awful, but it was just a joy to go to work every day.
His Sweeney success was later capped off with the critically acclaimed television series The Minder, where Waterman played bodyguard, or ‘caretaker’, Terry McCann for 10 years from 1979. He demonstrated his vocal talents singing the theme song, I Could Be So Good for You, which peaked at number three in the UK charts in 1980.
Her passion for singing led Waterman to release music with EMI and DJM record labels.
He released three albums – Down Wind Of Angels, Waterman and So Good For You – in the 1970s and 1980s and performed across the UK on a tour, dubbed Friends On Tour, with Sheena Easton and Gerard Kenny.
Waterman pictured on set of The Sweeney, in which he first found fame playing tough cop George Carter. The series launched his career on British television
Waterman pictured during the filming of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories. He is survived by his wife, Pam, and his two daughters, Julia and Hannah.
Echoing Sweeney’s success, Minder was adapted into a film based on the television series titled Minder On The Orient Express, which aired on Christmas Day 1985.
After leaving Minder, Waterman returned to the stage for several years, performing in shows such as Jeffrey Bernard in Unwell in Australia, Ireland and the UK, and My Fair Lady in the West End.
In the latter part of his career, he played Gerry Standing on New Tricks from 2003 to 2014.
Afterwards he went into semi-retirement, dividing his time between his homes in Berkshire and Spain. His last film role was in the Australian comedy-drama Never Too Late in 2020.
Waterman is survived by his wife, Pam, and two daughters, Julia and Hannah, born from his marriage to actress Patricia Maynard.