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Grant shared the news via his social media early Friday morning. In his touching message, the Star Wars and The Iron Lady actor included a video of the duo singing and dancing to The Platters’ “Only You.”
“ONLY YOU Joan – Love of my Life & Giver of Life to our daughter Olivia,” Grant tweeted. “Our hearts are broken with the loss of your life last night. 35 years married and 38 together. To be truly known and seen by you is your immeasurable gift.”
🎵ONLY YOU!🎵Joan – Love of my Life & Giver of Life to our daughter Olivia. Our hearts are broken with the loss of your Life last night. 35 years married & 38 together. To be truly known and seen by you, is your immeasurable gift. Do not forget us, sweet Monkee-mine 💔💔💔💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/YcdVAVK1ja
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) September 3, 2021
“Do not forget us, sweet Monkee-mine,” he wrote in the Twitter post.
Washington was a voice and dialect coach for numerous TV and film projects beginning in 1983. She also provided additional voice work to Guillermo del Toro’s gothic romance Crimson Peak. She and Grant first met back in 1983 at the Actors’ Centre in London where he was working with Washington “on a series of regional British dialects.”
“She was teaching an accent session with a bunch of actors, and I thought she had the most wonderful voice and huge, sort of monkey eyes. She seemed fairly frenetic,” he told The Independent in 2011 during a joint interview with the couple. “I thought that she was really cute and all that.”
Grant and Washington share one child together, Olivia Grant, in addition to a stepson, Tom Washington, from Washington’s previous marriage.
An outpouring of condolences followed the news, coming from those who had known and worked with Washington, including Crimson Peak actress Jessica Chastain.
“My heart is broken Joan Washington had such a profound impact on me, yes as an artist, but mostly as a woman. I’ve looked toward her. Her strive towards excellence made her the celebrated dialect coach she was,” she tweeted along with a photo of her and Washington.
My heart is broken 💔Joan Washington had such a profound impact on me, yes as an artist, but mostly as a woman. I’ve looked toward her. Her strive towards excellence made her the celebrated dialect coach she was. pic.twitter.com/6rW2OpYJKs
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) September 3, 2021
Chastin noted that she had worked with Washington on several projects, including Debt, Poirot, Coriolanus, Miss Julie, The Zookeeper’s Wife and The 355.
“Every day I was excited to go to work and giggle with Joan. She was a barometer of truth with a wicked sense of humor. I loved her very much,” she said in a follow-up tweet. The way she celebrated her family has been very meaningful to see over the years. My heart goes to her beloved Richard and Oilly. You were always her North Star.”
Washington worked alongside a number of notable actors on various productions throughout her decades-long Hollywood career. That includes Ralph Fiennes on 2012’s Great Expectations, Glen Close on 102 Dalmations, Cate Blanchett on 2004’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Anne Hathaway on The Witches and both Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Stars Wars: Attack of the Clones.
On Saturday, a day after Grant announced Washington’s passing, the actor took to Twitter to thank those who had sent their condolences. The tweet was accompanied by an emotional slideshow of photos featuring Washington with her family and on various sets and projects.
“Overwhelmed by the messages of love, condolence and support we have received from loved ones and strangers from all over the world and the appreciation from actors Joan taught over the years,” he wrote. “Grief hits us like tsunamis as we try and put one foot in front of the other without her.”
Overwhelmed by the messages of love, condolence & support we have received from loved ones & strangers from all over the world & the appreciation from actors Joan taught over the years. Grief hits us like tsunamis as we try and put one foot in front of the other without her 💔 pic.twitter.com/VDhpFQwmrh
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) September 4, 2021
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