Perry Fenwick, a legendary member of EastEnders, has confessed that he nearly passed away twice as a child.
The Billy Mitchell actor shared some disturbing stories about the times he came dangerously close to dying with Kathy Burke on her show Where There’s A Will There’s A Wake.
Perry admitted, “I think I spent quite a lot of that time in hospitals from the age of zero to ten.”
“When I was three, I electrocuted myself.” I had three of my fingers free when I decided it would be fun to stick them in the plug hole in the wall as I was playing with a bowl of soapy water on the rug.
My mother, who was watching television at the time, said, “At this point, I noticed that this ‘thing’ was moving directly across to the other side of the room.” Evidently, my hands’ palms remained dark for around six months after that.
The actor continued by recalling the time he fell from a bridge, terrifying his buddies, as if that weren’t dramatic enough.
“I slipped off a bridge.” Near where I used to live, there used to be an iron bridge, and you had to complete a dare by crossing the bridge’s arch. It was between 25 and 30 feet when I wobbled and fell off of it.
Because it was the 1960s, if I had struck one of the railway sleepers that ran below it or the nearby mud banks, it would have been fatal. Fortunately for me, someone had gotten into DIY early and removed some of the sleepers.
I walked straight through and landed in the mud bank, which was so soft that I could only squelch.
After being persuaded to try the perilous crossing, young Perry made the decision to have some fun by pulling his own prank on his friends.
I was just ten or eleven years old at the time, but I could then hear the youngsters who had dared me, my friends, and this young lady I had a crush on. Guess what I did in that split second while I was still lying there? I acted dead.
Even at that young age, I made the decision that my inner actor only wanted to know what people thought of me.
As a result, I remained where I was and overheard them all yelling, “He’s not moving; call the police; no, we’re not going to call the police; we’ll have to go to prison.”
“I’m waiting for the girl to speak,” I said as I could hear them moving closer but just so far. I was thinking, “come on, one of you say something nice, at least be concerned!” until someone said, “Is he dead?”
The girl I was actually into just went to “throw a stone at him” at that point. So, as I’m waiting for this female to give me the kiss of life, the next thing that happens is I receive a stone in the back of my skull!
Perry has established himself as a stalwart of EastEnders while portraying Billy Mitchell, but he acknowledges that he nearly gave up acting and instead to acquire “the knowledge” needed to work as a black taxi driver instead.
“I was on the verge of giving up acting because, like you mentioned, I put in a tonne of effort before it all dried up. He said to Kathy, “I was about to begin ‘the knowing’.
I simply reasoned, “Well, I’m good at learning lines so learning the knowledge might be the way forward,” but when the agent was contacted and informed about EastEnders, I realised, “Oh, I could use that now.”
Perry recently played a devastating and “punishing” plot in which Billy lost his granddaughter Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) to a brain tumour after 25 years on Albert Square.
Perry said of Danielle Harold, “She started the show as not a tiny girl, but she was young. Danielle Harold is beautiful, fantastically skilled.
“I don’t have any children, but to me she’s been like a daughter.” As a result, when we were aware that this scenario would take place, there was a situation in which Kath’s character Billy was losing his grandchild and Perry was losing his daughter.
“You would look at the script when you arrived at work every day, and it was just punishing.”
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