Chesterfield-born actor Jeremy Kemp, who starred in Z Cars and Star Trek, dies aged 84

Chesterfield-born actor Jeremy Kemp has died aged 84, it has been announced this week.

Friday, 26th July 2019, 12:24 pm
British actor Jeremy Kemp holding a kitten as he stars in the action thriller television series 'The Protectors', UK, 23rd April 1964. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The star - who was perhaps best-known for his role in the hit BBC show Z Cars - had reportedly been suffering 'considerable ill health for a while' after his partner Christopher Harter died.

Born Edmund Jeremy James Walker on January 3 1935, he started national service with the Gordan Highlanders and ended up as a lieutenant in the Black Watch.

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Kemp later studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, taking his mother's maiden name for professional use.

According to his obituary in the Guardian, Kemp was a 'stalwart of British cinema and TV, often playing army officers and authority figures'.

He played PC Bob Steele in Z Cars, which was a gritty look at the life of a police unit in a fictional suburb called Newtown.

Kemp left the drama less than halfway through the second series in 1963 because he was concerned about typecasting - and he also said he hated wearing a police uniform

British actor Jeremy Kemp with co-stars in the action thriller television series The Protectors, UK, 23rd April 1964. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

After Z Cars, Kemp starred in a number of TV shows and films, including The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Murder, She Wrote, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Blue Max.

He also starred as Robert Picard, the elder brother of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Family.

On Twitter, the official Star Trek account said: "We're saddened to report the passing of Star Trek guest star Jeremy Kemp, who played Robert Picard."

In response, Jay Stobie wrote: "I'm so sorry to hear this. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. He will always be remembered by his Star Trek family."

Jean Drew said: "He was one of my favourites.

Richard Honig added: "He was so good. RIP Jeremy."

Kemp is survived by two sisters, Gill and Jan.