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EastEnders star dies as tributes are paid to actor's 'decades-long career' that included Footballers' Wives

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Actor Nicholas Ball, famous for playing gang lord Terry Bates in EastEnders, has passed away, his agent has announced. In their statement, Nicholas's agent announced that he had "passed away following a short illness." They also paid tribute to his "successful acting career on stage and screen spanned an impressive six decades." He made a number of appearances in EastEnders between 2007 and 2009, where his character caused chaos in the Queen Vic, and event attacked the iconic Peggy Mitchell (played by the late Dame Barbara Windsor).

Prior to his stint on Albert Square, Nicholas appeared on Footballer's Wives, where he portrayed the chairman of a football club and ex-rock star Garry Ryan.

Nicholas first shot to fame in the 70s when he portrayed the lead in the detective series Hazell. In the series he portrayed a cockney ex-policeman turned private detective named James "Jim" Hazell.The character was created by journalist and novelist Gordon Williams and footballer Terry Venables, who wrote under the joint pseudonym of P.B.Yuill.The first book, released in 1974 was called Hazell Plays Solomon - with the first episode of the show sharing the same title.

He appeared in a number of other TV shows, including Red Dwarf, Jonatan Creek, Hustle, Holby City, and the BBC daytime soap Doctors.

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