Richard E Grants mum dies at 93 as he details their complicated relationship

Richard E. Grant shares a tribute to his mother

Richard E Grant’s mother Leonne Esterhuysen, a former ballet teacher, has died aged 93.

The actor took to social media last night to share the news and told fans more about his “incredibly complicated” relationship with his mother over the years.

As part of a lengthy video, he revealed he knew “immediately” that his mum had died after seeing eight missed calls on his phone from Africa, where she lived, after a day of filming.

Richard, 66, went on to describe his mum as being “emotionally withdrawn” and said she had “withheld her approval of anything”.

He added: “What that proved to be is a great motor for ambition and determination to try and prove yourself, and be the best that you possibly can, and yet, ironically, whatever she did, she demanded and got applause and approval from everybody around her, including me.”

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The actor also spilled details about how his last visit to his mum following his wife’s death in 2021, was a “disaster”.

He added: “I went to stay with her for a couple of weeks, six weeks after my wife had died, with Covid restrictions being lifted, and she sent me a very terse email at the end of the trip, saying, ‘I regret to say your visit was an absolute disaster, we only have two things in common, books and classical music.’

“So whereas she was very physically untactile, I’ve gone (to) the opposite extreme and been a very tactile and loving father and husband I suppose in response to that.”

Richard went on to say he felt “resignation” following her death, but had “gratitude” for her for giving him life and for what she taught him.

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The Persuasion actor lost his wife Joan Washington to lung cancer in September 2021 aged 76.

His spouse’s death came just eight months after she was diagnosed at stage four.

The couple married in 1986 and share daughter, Olivia, and a stepson, Tom, from her previous relationship.

As part of a moving tribute at the time, he told the Daily Mail: “Since her stage four lung cancer diagnosis two days before Christmas, she was accepting, clear sighted, sanguine and totally without self pity.

“The oncology team at the Royal Marsden hospital, NHS nurses, Price’s Mill Surgery and Longfield palliative carers have been beyond exemplary.

“It’s been my privilege to be by your side, sharing our last eight months together, enabling us to say everything we possibly wanted and needed to, so that when you asked Olivia and me two weeks ago ‘to let me go’, we unequivocally said ‘yes’.

“Olivia and I are profoundly grateful for everything that you’ve gifted us with, and we’re relieved that you no longer have to struggle for breath.”

He went on to describe their four decades together as “the ride of my lifetime”.

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