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'Peaky Blinders' actor Benjamin Zephaniah passes away due to brain tumor

Renowned 'Peaky Blinders' actor and poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, has passed away at 65. His impactful literary legacy and memorable TV roles remembered.

Peaky Blinders' actor Benjamin Zephaniah passes away due to brain tumor SHG
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First Published Dec 7, 2023, 7:14 PM IST

Renowned actor and poet Benjamin Zephaniah, widely recognized for his notable portrayal of Jeremiah Jesus in the acclaimed series 'Peaky Blinders,' has passed away at the age of 65. The sad news was conveyed through a statement on Zephaniah's official Instagram account, revealing that he succumbed to a brain tumor diagnosis made eight weeks ago.

The statement further read, "Benjamin’s wife was by his side throughout and was with him when he passed. We shared him with the world and we know many will be shocked and saddened by this news. Benjamin was a true pioneer and innovator; he gave the world so much. Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music, television and radio, Benjamin leaves us with a joyful and fantastic legacy."

Originating from Birmingham, England, Zephaniah's journey led him to London, where, at the youthful age of 22, he published his debut poetry collection, 'Pen Rhythm,' in 1980. His literary repertoire expanded with the release of 13 additional poetry books, delving into political themes such as the British legal system in 'The Dread Affair' (1985) and reflecting on his experiences in Palestine in 'Rasta Time in Palestine' (1990). In addition to his poetic pursuits, Zephaniah demonstrated versatility by crafting novels, plays, and an autobiography titled 'The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah,' penned in 2018.

Beyond his literary accomplishments, Zephaniah graced television screens with numerous appearances, most notably as the charismatic preacher Jeremiah Jesus in 'Peaky Blinders,' featuring in 14 episodes across the show's six seasons. His television repertoire also encompassed roles in 'EastEnders,' 'The Bill,' and 'Zen Motoring,' as reported by Variety. The multifaceted artist's demise marks the end of a prolific career that left an indelible mark on both the literary and entertainment spheres.

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