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Thaw signed new contract.

THE actor John Thaw, who died six weeks ago from throat cancer, signed a new year-long contract with ITV the day before he passed away, it was disclosed yesterday.

Thaw, who was 60, starred in The Sweeney, Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC and had won legions of fans across the world.

He died at his home in Wiltshire on February 21 after finally succumbing to his eight-month-long illness.

His wife of 28 years, the actress Sheila Hancock, said: "The night before he died, he went round the garden and we had Lancashire hotpot. He was in good nick, he really was. His death came very suddenly.

"He even signed a contract for ITV, for another year, the day before he died. I found it on the piano. John was very strong. But the fact is that John never, ever, took on board he was dying.

"He absolutely did not want to entertain the possibility that he wasn't going to get better: right up until the last night."

Hancock, 69, said the entire family were at home when he died, including daughter Joanna, Thaw's actress daughter Abigail from his first marriage, Hancock's interior designer daughter Melanie, from her first marriage, and their three grandchildren.

She dismissed a recent report that her three daughters had been squabbling over their father's will saying that "every single word" of the article was untrue.

In her first interview since her husband's death, she said:

"There was no dispute about the will. The will has not even been discussed. My girls have clung together in their grief and there is no way that there's any argument between them."

Hancock, who is now attempting to build a life without her husband and describes John's death as "absolute hell" says she has drawn great strength from people's kindness since his death.

She confirmed that there would be a public memorial service for her husband later in the year.

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THAW: 'Sudden' death
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 7, 2002
Words:325
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