John Benfield has passed away aged 68 following a battle with Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, it was revealed on Wednesday.
The Prime Suspect star, whose real name was John Turner, is reported to have died on June 16 at Oxford’s Sobell House Hospice, according to the Oxford Mail.
Known for his role as DCS Michael Kernan opposite Helen Mirren in the ITV show, the actor leaves behind his wife of 31-years Lilian, son Freddie, and grandson Rex.
Tragic: Prime Suspect star John Benfield has died age 68 following battle with a rare form of cancer, it was revealed on Wednesday
John’s agent Markham, Froggatt & Irwin said he always brought a ‘truth and integrity to his roles and was an imposing, strong and rugged figure, with a soul and belief in his craft.’
MailOnline have contacted John’s representatives for comment.
Born in Essex in 1961, John began his career in acting after graduating from Nottingham University and Webber Douglas School of Drama.
He has appeared over 70 TV shows or films over the years, with particular highlights including In The Name Of The Father and Speed Racer
RIP: Known for his role as DCS Michael Kernan opposite Helen Mirren in the ITV show (pictured), John leaves behind his wife of 31-years Lilian, son Freddie, and grandson Rex
Passing: The actor, whose real name was John Turner, is reported to have died on June 16 at Sobell House Hospice, which is based in Oxford
John worked with the likes of Sam Mendes and Ken Loach during his career but made his name in Prime Suspect as Mirren’s boss in the force.
The series ran between 1991 and 2006, and examines misogyny in the police force as Helen’s Detective Chief Inspector, Jane Tennison navigates the male-dominated profession and proves her worth with the support of her boss.
Helen became a household name thanks to her role in Prime Suspect, which she won Best Actress at the British Academy Television Awards.
Iconic role: John worked with the likes of Sam Mendes and Ken Loach during his career, but made his name in Prime Suspect as Mirren’s boss in the force (pictured with Craig Fairbrass)
Speaking to The Sunday Times’ Culture Magazine last year, Helen admitted she thinks things have ‘changed substantially’ for women in the industry since she appeared in Prime Suspect.
She explained: ‘In the last 10 years – or really the last three or four years – things have changed substantially.
‘When I first did Prime Suspect they were not at all sure that a female-led drama would be acceptable to the public. So that’s how much things have changed since we first began Prime Suspect. It’s changed hugely.’
Groundbreaking show: Airing between 1991 and 2006, and saw Helen’s DCI Jane Tennison navigate the male-dominated profession with the support of her boss, played by John