Richard E. Grant reveals late wife Joan was diagnosed with lung cancer before Christmas

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Watch: Richard E. Grant shares tribute to wife Joan Washington

Richard E. Grant says his wife Joan Washington, who passed away last week, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer just before Christmas.

Grant and dialect coach Washington were married for more than 30 years after meeting at the Actors Centre in Covent Garden in November 1982.

Read more: Richard E. Grant shares tribute ahead of wife's funeral

Writing in the Daily Mail, the Oscar-nominated star described his relationship with Washington as "the ride of my lifetime".

He wrote: "Since her stage four lung cancer diagnosis two days before Christmas, she was accepting, clear sighted, sanguine and totally without self pity.

Richard E. Grant has paid tribute to his wife, Joan Washington, who passed away this week. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Richard E. Grant has paid tribute to his wife, Joan Washington, who passed away this week. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)

"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'."

Read more: Richard E. Grant posts Withnail and I quotes throughout lockdown

In the article, Grant shared numerous memories of his time with Washington, as well as revealing their secret signals for when to leave a party if one or the other was bored.

He added: "It's an extraordinary phenomenon to be truly 'seen' and 'known' by another human, and in Joan, I found someone who innately did both."

Richard E. Grant and Joan Washington have a daughter, Olivia, together. (David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Richard E. Grant and Joan Washington have a daughter, Olivia, together. (David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Washington passed away on 2 September at the age of 71 and is survived by Olivia — her daughter with Grant — and her son Tom, from a previous relationship.

She began her career working as a vocal coach on Barbra Streisand's 1983 musical Yentl.

A fixture in Hollywood, she went on to work with the likes of Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain and Ralph Fiennes on some of their most acclaimed projects.

Watch: Stars pay tribute to Joan Washington

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