Dean Sullivan’s Brookside co-star Sue Jenkins reveals she was with him on the day he died as she shares a moving tribute: ‘It’s hard to find words to express my sadness’
Dean Sullivan’s Brookside co-star Sue Jenkins has revealed she was with him the day he tragically died aged 68.
The actress played drug dealer Jimmy’s long-suffering wife Jackie Corkhill in the soap and shared a touching tribute to the actor.
Dean died after a battle with prostate cancer, confirming he was living with the disease in May – five years after his original diagnosis.
Sue shared a selection of photos from her friendship with Dean, including one with co-star Claire Sweeney.
She captioned the post: “It’s honestly hard to find words to express my sadness over the loss of Dean. What a time we had as Jimmy & Jackie.
Dean Sullivan’s Brookside co-star Sue Jenkins has revealed she was with him the day he tragically died aged 68 (pictured in September)
The actress played drug dealer Jimmy’s long-suffering wife Jackie Corkhill in the soap and shared a touching tribute to the actor
Sue played the role of drug dealer Jimmy’s wife Jackie on the soap for ten years, leaving the soap in 2001 (pictured in character)
‘A consummate professional, fantastic, much-loved actor, a lovely, funny, friendly person. I feel privileged to have been with him yesterday. Rest in peace #Dean.”
The former Brookside actor was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 and was eventually discharged by his consultant last year after undergoing radiotherapy treatment.
Dean recently spoke to The Liverpool Echo about his cancer diagnosis, saying: ‘The way I dealt with it was I put myself in the hands of fate. If this was my time, then this was my time, so I was actually quite philosophical about it,
‘I know people would throw themselves into an early grave, so to speak, but I’m not that kind of person. I try to stay positive and just get on with my life.”
Liverpool-born Sullivan said he did not show most of the symptoms of prostate cancer, apart from reduced blood flow.
However, he felt something was wrong and went to the doctor, who only told him to keep an eye on it, but a few weeks later he returned to another doctor.
He said: ‘If I had listened to the first doctor it might have been a different story, so always trust your gut, 11 times out of 10 you’re right, we still have that fight or flight instinct. ‘
A statement from Dean’s family confirmed the sad news of his death on Thursday. “It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that actor Dean Sullivan passed away peacefully on November 29, 2023 after a brief illness.
Sue (pictured with Dean in 1999) wrote: ‘A consummate professional, fantastic, much-loved actor, a lovely, funny, kind person. “I feel privileged to have been with him yesterday.”
In June, Dean reunited with his Brookside daughter Claire Sweeney, who played Lindsey Corkhill, and Sue, who played Jackie, for an appearance at the British Soap Awards.
‘To millions of people he was and still is remembered as ‘Jimmy’, to family and friends he was ‘Dino’. Dean’s family would like to thank Arrowe Park Hospital for their continued and consistent support.”
“We ask that you respect their privacy in times of mourning,” read the message from Hamilton Management and his family.
His cause of death has not been confirmed.
The actor admitted that early detection was key to his successful radiotherapy treatment and urged other people to get checked if they were concerned.
In 2019, Sullivan opened up about his diagnosis with “shell shock” cancer, admitting that he never thought he had a problem with his prostate because he didn’t show many of the typical symptoms.
He told The Mirror at the time: ‘I remember being a bit shocked because even though we know today that one in three of us will be diagnosed with cancer, you never think it will be you.’
Sullivan admitted that he didn’t immediately share the news with his loved ones or friends because he’s not the type of person to “elicit” support from their friends.
He broke the news to a few close friends and family members, explaining, “You’re the one living with it and dealing with it, and my way of dealing with it was not to let it become a major part of my life.”
He added: ‘There’s also the situation where you think, ‘I don’t want to tell this story again,’ so only my closest family and friends knew. It was one of those moments where I thought: ‘just keep going and it will happen’.”
Sullivan, from Liverpool, joined Brookside in 1986, four years after its launch, and remained in the soap until it was axed in 2003.
He was at the center of many of the soap’s most memorable storylines, including the moment when Jimmy discovered the body of villain Trevor Jordache under a patio two years after his murder.
Dean died after a battle with prostate cancer, confirming he was living with the disease in May – five years after his original diagnosis
Dean won two British Soap Awards during his time on the show, including a Special Recognition, and held the record of filming more episodes than any other actor on the show.
In June, Dean reunited with his Brookside daughter Claire Sweeney, who played Lindsey Corkhill, and wife Sue Jenkins, who played Jackie, for an appearance at the British Soap Awards.
Claire, who played Lindsey for 12 years, posed for the family reunion and admitted it felt very ’emotional’.
Taking to her Instagram along with the pair, she wrote, “This felt emotional. So happy to see @deansul @susie.jenks #brookside #family.”