ALWYN GRAHAM PAYS TRIBUTE TO A STAR ENTERTAINERS come and go and rarely is their passing marked or mourned by fickle audiences; after all, their work is on film or stored in a video library, so it isn't as though their performances are denied us forever.

But this week's news of the death of actor Jeremy Brett has quite affected me.

His towering talent made him the definitive Sherlock Holmes, but his personal battle against manic depression made him a towering hero.

Mental health problems are the hardest things to discuss when it relates to oneself, yet one in four people will suffer from some form of problem at some time in their lives and that represents a huge proportion of the population. In fact, 20,000 people die each year as a result of mental health problems - four times as many fatalities as from road accidents.

Jeremy was afflicted by depression very badly, yet, because people expect somewhat odd or eccentric behaviour of "theatricals", he didn't realise at once what the great highs of ?elation and deep troughs of despair were all about. When he did, he not only faced up to the illness, he went public and helped other sufferers.

Listening to him explain his disorder on the radio was a very moving experience and one of the most difficult performances he must ever have had to deliver. He was as brave and kind as he was talented.

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