Joe Longthorne dead: Singer and impersonator dies ‘laying in husband’s arms’ age 64
Joe Longthorne’s family confirmed he had died aged 64 this morning at his home in Blackpool in a heartbreaking statement.The entertainer passed away “laying in the arms of his devoted husband” while clutching rosary beads.The singer, who had been a well known face in the showbiz world for 50 years, was said to have passed away “peacefully”.His loved ones confirmed: “It is with the deepest sadness that we have to announce that the nation's beloved entertainer Joe Longthorne MBE passed away peacefully in the early hours of today at his cherished home in Blackpool.
"Joe died in his bedroom, laying in the arms of his devoted husband of 21 years Jamie, with his rosary beads clutched tight to his chest.”The statement continued: “He leaves behind sister Ann and brother John.“Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Jamie and all the family at this sad time."Joe rose to fame on Search For a Star in 1981, and led to appearances at the London Palladium and a season at London's Talk of the Town.He also appeared on the likes of Live from the Palladium and Des O'Connor Tonight, before having three platinum albums.The star is well known for his turn as Dame Shirley Bassey, and his also mimicked Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow.
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Joe had a number of gigs lined up in the next few days, including an appearance at Viva Blackpool tomorrow.He battled cancer several times throughout his life and had to undergo a bone marrow transplant in 2005.Five years ago he vowed to continue singing despite a throat cancer diagnosis.Speaking after having treatment in 2014 in a video posted to his website, he said: “There's no sign of any more cancer in me. So that's a great thrill. What a chance to be able to say the cancer's gone now.“It's just a question of rebuilding. My face for instance is (so swollen) I feel like I've got nine boiled eggs in my mouth. But seriously I'm feeling good.”
He added: “All the prayers and the cards and wishes you've been sending me are truly working, I really do believe that. Thanks a lot."Joe’s name was soon trending on Twitter today, as famous faces rushed to pay their condolences online.Les Dennis tweeted: “So very sad to hear that Joe Longthorne has died. Worked with him many times. A supreme talent and a nice man. Thoughts with his family. RIP.”“I first saw Jow Longthorne at the Montrose social club ages 14. He was amazing!! Saw him many times over the years.“One of the greatest stars this country ever had!!! True star and talent beyond belief, RIP Joe Longthorne,” actress Claire Sweeney wrote.