The gangster-turned-actor's death was ruled as 'unexpected' by the police as it came just hours after he had spent the day watching football with his friends.
Recent months have witnessed the deaths of many celebrities across different industries. Last month, beloved actress and comedian Maddy Anholt passed away at 35 and earlier this month, we lost Manchester City legend Francis Lee. Now, another big name has bid farewell to the world: the 'most feared man' in London - Dave Courtney.
What happened to Courtney?
Dave Courtney, a former gangster known for his connections to the infamous Kray twins and claims that he inspired a character in Guy Ritchie's film Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, has passed away at the age of 64. His death, which has been described as unexpected, is currently under investigation by the Metropolitan Police, as per Sky News.
Before his death, Courtney shared a video that flooded social media networks. This video, released on his social media accounts in July, was recorded at his Camelot Castle residence in Plumstead. It showed the 64-year-old as someone who was suffering and in significant pain. Tragically, this video was made over three months before he took his own life by gunshot. He had reportedly been suffering from cancer and arthritis, as per The Telegraph.
Dave Courtney had three marriages in his life. His first two marriages, with Susan Ray and Annette Barn, ended in divorce. He was separated from his third wife, Jennifer Pinto, a rap artist known as JennyBean. He is survived by his partner, Angela, and has three sons and two daughters. Tragically, his stepson Genson, who was involved in drug dealing, was shot and killed in 2011.
Association with notorious crime lords
Courtney, who was found at his home in Plumstead, southeast London, is remembered for his colorful and controversial life, marked by brushes with the law and a transition from a life of crime to one as an author and actor. He was known for his association with the Kray twins, iconic figures in the 1960s British gangland, and for his involvement in providing security for Ronnie Kray's funeral.
In a statement shared on social media, his family paid tribute to his remarkable life, acknowledging his struggles with cancer and arthritis in his later years. The statement read:
'On October 22, 2023, Dave made the decision to 'stop the ride.' He had lived an incredible, colorful, 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.'
Despite the controversy surrounding his life, Courtney was known for his passion for football and was seen attending a match featuring his favorite team, Charlton, just the day before his death.
Dave Courtney's involvement in crime, which included allegations of murder, assault, theft, and more, led to multiple trials, some of which he claimed to be found not guilty in. However, his criminal past is intertwined with stories of violence, including being shot, stabbed, and having his nose almost bitten off during a pub brawl.
From gangster to actor
According to The Telegraph, one of his notable claims was that he inspired Vinnie Jones's character in the 1998 film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. He went on to pursue a career in acting, appearing in crime documentaries and low-budget gangster films such as Hell to Pay, Six Bend Trap, Killer Bitch, Clubbing to Death, among others. Courtney also authored several books in which he shared his experiences and legal battles, the outlet claims.
Known as 'Yellow Pages' due to his underworld connections, Courtney's life was filled with controversy and contradictions. He was a complex figure who was both celebrated and criticized for his association with the criminal underworld.
Despite his criminal background, Dave Courtney managed to build a certain level of celebrity status. He embraced his newfound media-friendly persona and made appearances in television documentaries and films. He also engaged in speaking engagements and raised money for charity.
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