Actor Richard E Grant, while hosting the 2023 BAFTAs, got emotional during the In Memoriam section of the ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Sunday. The 65-year-old’s wife Joan Washington died in September 2021 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Grant introduced the segment by saying, “Tonight is a celebration of film in all its mad, sad, funny, frightening, and thought-provoking forms. Let’s take this opportunity to pay tribute to those members of the global film community that we sadly lost…”

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Dame Angela Lansbury, Dame Olivia Newton-John, Sylvia Syms, Robbie Coltrane, Burt Bacharach and many others were honored in the segment, after which Grant said that ‘their legacies will live on’.

Who was Joan Washington?

Richard E Grant’s wife Joan Washington was a voice coach to celebrities including Penelope Cruz and Jessica Chastain. She died in September 2021. She was 71.

Grant and Washington were married for 35 years. She was born on 21 December 1946 in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She also acted in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Crimson Peak (2015) and Red Sparrow (2018).  She died on September 2 2021 in Avening, Gloucestershire, England.

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“Since her stage four lung cancer diagnosis two days before Christmas, she was accepting, clear sighted, sanguine and totally without self pity,” Grant wrote on Daily Mail.

“The oncology team at the Royal Marsden hospital, NHS nurses, Price’s Mill Surgery and Longfield palliative carers have been beyond exemplary. It’s been my privilege to be by your side, sharing our last eight months together, enabling us to say everything we possibly wanted and needed to, so that when you asked Olivia and me two weeks ago ‘to let me go’, we unequivocally said ‘yes’. Olivia and I are profoundly grateful for everything that you’ve gifted us with, and we’re relieved that you no longer have to struggle for breath.”