Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol’s husband David Keith Heald has died ‘unexpectedly’, her agent has confirmed.
In a statement, Paul Pearson told The Sun: “I would like to confirm the passing of Lesley’s beloved husband David Heald, known to all his wonderful friends as Da’arboth.
"Da’arboth was an amazing, unique and inspirational man who was always at Lesley’s side ‘her warrior’. We are all processing this unexpected turn of events and Lesley would like to thank everyone for their loving and kind messages of support."
Nicol, who portrays cook Beryl Patmore in the period drama and follow-up films, had been over in the States performing her one-woman show, How The Hell Did I Get Here?
Heald — who also suffered from heart problems — said in a Facebook post on 26 April that he had tested positive for Covid in a 'fit to fly' test, although there is currently no suggestion that the illness played a part in his death.
The 68-year-old wrote: "The fit to fly test was positive! Now going on May 4. I caught it when I had the spring booster shot!"
Nicol was married to the spiritual healer — who was known as Da'aboth Te'He'Ling — for fifteen years and the pair lived in West London. The pair did not have children.
A friend told the publication that Nicol is "heartbroken" while branding the couple "a real couple and team."
The pal also remembered the couple's "very strong bond and love", stating that Keith had been his wife's "biggest champion."
Speaking about their relationship, Nicol said previously: "It’s a good partnership. “I met him through a friend and we just hit it off.
"He is a martial artist and he does lots of spiritual stuff like Reiki. But he is interested in our world."
Nicol's one-woman show premiered in New York last month and its immediate success resulted in its run being extended.
The original musical follows Nicol's life and career, and has been lauded as "painting a portrait of the actress through words and music."
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