Richard E. Grant announced the death of wife Joan Washington on Instagram on September 3, 2021. How old was she at the time of passing and how long have they been together?

Star Wars actor Richard E. Grant sadly revealed the passing of his wife, Joan Washington, in a heartfelt Instagram post.

The 64-year-old uploaded a video of the happy couple dancing and laughing together to The Platters track, Only You, before sharing an embrace.

Photo by Luca Teuchmann/WireImage

How old was Joan Washington?

  • Joan was aged 71 at the time of passing, though there has been no official confirmation of the cause of death.

The couple had been together for 35 years; they married in 1986 after three years of dating, which they never intended to do.

Revealing to The Independent, they met at the Actors’ Centre in London in December 1982, and he was immediately impressed by Joan, a dialect coach.

“She was wearing a boiler suit and had fairly short, cropped hair and Kicker shoes, and was chain-smoking, which I thought was insane. I thought she had the most wonderful voice and huge, sort of monkey eyes. She seemed fairly frenetic. I thought that she was really cute and all that.”

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At the time, she was still married and having been scarred by his parent’s divorce at a young age, Richard was convinced that he wasn’t going to marry.

Enter Joan – oh how love changes things.

It took a six week Christmas holiday away from her for the actor to realise how committed he was, so he proposed to her as soon as he landed back in England.

Who was Joan Washington?

Born in Aberdeen, Joan was a dialect coach at the Royal National Theatre. Richard may have an impressive filmography, but Joan was known as one of Britain’s leading voice coaches after training at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London.

With 118 IMDb credits over nearly four decades, she had worked with actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence on The Sparrow , Anne Hathaway on The Hustle and Jessica Chastain on The Debt and Crimson Peak.

Her last credit will be 2022 film The 355, once again as Jessica’s coach.

Richard and Joan share daughter Olivia, and son Tom, from her previously relationship.

The Daily Mail reports that the couple endured three miscarriages during their marriage and their first child, Tiffany, passed away shortly after birth since she was premature; Joan recalled it as “the worst thing we ever had to go through”, but it made their bond stronger.