Home / Entertainment / Dave Courtney: Former London gangster turned actor dies aged 64

Dave Courtney: Former London gangster turned actor dies aged 64

Former London gangster-turned-actor Dave Courtney has died aged 64.

Courtney, who claimed to be an associate of the notorious Kray twins, was found dead at his home on Chestnut Rise, Plumstead, in the early hours of Sunday.

A post announcing his death on his Instagram account said Courtney “took his own life”.

It said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dave Courtney at the age of 64.”

In a statement, Courtney’s family said he lived “an incredible, colourful rock ‘n’ roll life in which he touched the hearts of so many”.

“The physical pain of living the lifestyle he chose, especially due to the pain of both cancer and arthritis in his later years, became too much,” his family added.

Courtney was rumoured to be the inspiration behind Vinnie Jones’s character “Big Chris” in Guy Ritchie’s gangster film Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels.

He swapped his life of crime to become an author and actor, publishing six books, and starring in a film called Hell To Pay.

“I may have been a bit naughty when I was a young man,” Courtney told BBC London last year.

“The word gangster is a very historical word. It’s a romantic figure of the past, gangsters, like knights in shining armour, cowboys, pirates, gangsters.

“Today definitely is not the time to try and be a gangster… you’re trying to beat technology and you can’t do that.”

Courtney told BBC London he had a mural painted on the side of his house that depicted the Kray twins, Lenny McLean, Joey Pyle, Charlie Richardson, Ronnie Biggs, John Gotti, Roy Shaw, Freddie Foreman, Howard Marks and Al Capone.

“And I’m stuck right in the middle of it, me and a bunch of mates,” he said.

In his final Facebook post, Courtney could be seen watching Charlton Athletic win 4-0 against Reading on Saturday.

The Met Police said officers attended an address on Chestnut Rise at about 11:25 BST following reports of a man found deceased.

A 64-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene, the force said.

His family has been informed.

Formal identification has not taken place, and the death is being treated as unexpected and is under investigation, the Met said.

No arrests have been made.