Dawn French pays tribute to 'phenomenal woman' Joan Washington after she passes away

Richard E Grant announced the death of his wife

Dawn French
(Image credit: Getty)

Dawn French is the latest star to pay tribute to Joan Washington, who tragically passed away earlier this week. 

The comedian took to Twitter to pay tribute to Richard E. Grant's wife and described her as a "phenomenal woman".

Dawn—who has grieved her own marriage—wrote, "Joan Washington will ALWAYS be remembered by those of us who knew her & were taught by her, as a PHENOMENAL WOMAN. So much love to & all the family."

The English actor confirmed the tragic news in a touching tribute post to his life-partner of nearly four decades. Taking to Instagram to honor Joan, Richard posted a heart-wrenching video of the couple slow dancing together at home. 

"Our hearts are broken with the loss of your Life last night," the Oscar-nominated actor captioned the clip. "35 years married and 38 together. To be truly known and seen by you, is your immeasurable gift. Do not forget us, sweet Monkee-m." 

Richard also called Joan the "Love of my Life" as well as the "giver of Life to our daughter Olivia". 

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It's clear Joan touched the lives of so many in the industry, including Dawn—who had been taught by Joan previously.

Joan worked as a vocal coach and may have rubbed shoulders with Dawn on French and Saunders or Vicar of Dibley.

She was well-known and well-loved within the industry, as well as by her husband Richard. 

The pair met in 1982 and fell in love soon after.

In a joint interview back in 2001, Richard explained, "I met her at the Actors' Centre in London. She was wearing a boiler suit and had fairly short, cropped hair and Kicker shoes, and was chain-smoking, which I thought was insane.

"She was teaching an accent session with a bunch of actors, and 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. It was December 1982."

Are thoughts are with Richard and his family.  

Georgia Farquharson
Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."