Emmerdale: Rhona Goskirk tries to kiss Marlon Dingle
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Emmerdale actor Mark Charnock, 52, has paid a touching tribute to his on-screen son, on what would have been his 10th birthday. Harry Whittaker, who played Leo Dingle in the ITV show, was just three years old when he died in 2014 from chronic lung disease.
Mark, who starred as Leo’s dad in Emmerdale, marked the young actor’s big day with a heartbreaking post on Twitter.
Taking to the micro-blogging site, he shared a photo of Harry, who had Down’s Syndrome, sporting a superhero costume.
In view of his 179,800 followers, the Dales actor penned: “On what would have been his 10th birthday, thinking of this little Spider-Man today.
“Thinking of the joy he brought to everyone he encountered and of his giddy laughter.”
Mark added: “Thinking of our Prince Harry with love and happy memories.”
Following his tearful message, his Emmerdale co-star Zoe Henry (who plays Rhona Goskirk) offered her support to him.
Harry’s character Leo Goskirk played the son of Marlon and Rhona.
The actress retweeted Mark’s post, as she took the opportunity to share a poignant message.
In view of her 102,000 followers, Zoe penned: “Oh Harry. You little love, defo my superhero,” followed by hearts and a spider emoji.
Fans flocked to comment on the heartbreaking tribute, as one wrote: “So lovely you remember him and his achievements in his short life.”
Another commented: “Bless him. My thoughts are with his family and his extended Emmerdale family. RIP little man.”
While a third added: “Thinking of you lovely boy.”
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Harry, who was the nephew of Jodie Whittaker, was loved by viewers’ and his co-stars alike when he starred in Emmerdale.
The young star had filmed his final scenes just weeks before he tragically died seven years ago.
His last on-screen appearance was broadcast in July 2014, ten days after Harry died.
At the time of his death, an Emmerdale spokesman said: “Sadly we can confirm Harry Whittaker’s passing.
“We will all miss him greatly and have offered our sincerest condolences to his family at this very sad time.”
At the end of his final episode, the Emmerdale cast honoured the late star sharing a photo of Harry.
“For Harry, with love,” it read.
Emmerdale continues tonight on ITV at 7pm.
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