Sam Gannon: family appeal for help to bring home Emmerdale actor who died suddenly in US aged 31

The actor appeared in Emmerdale and had also appeared in adverts for Halfords and Bet365

Former Emmerdale star Sam Gannon has died suddenly in the US, the actor’s family has announced.

The 31-year-old played the character Kev in the Yorkshire TV soap, having previously held roles in adverts, theatre and short films, including ‘Talking with Angels’ - a feature that starred comedian Vic Reeves and actor Jane Horrocks.

Now, the actor’s family have launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring his body back to the UK.

Sam Gannon - who appeared in Emmerdale in 2019 - died suddenly in America

Who was Sam Gannon?

Sam Gannon was a 31-year-old actor from Brayton, a village on the outskirts of the North Yorkshire town of Selby.

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While still a fledgling TV and film actor at the time of his death, the Yorkshireman had held many roles in regional theatre productions.

The actor was educated at Brayton High School before going on to study at the Yorkshire Film and Television School in Huddersfield.

According to his agency Mandy, Gannon started his career a decade ago with minor film projects and theatre roles.

These included performing as Dromio in a Theatre of the Dales production of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Comedy of Errors’, and playing Cassio in BlackBox Theatre’s take on Othello.

He also appeared in the short film ‘Talking with Angels’ alongside Vic Reeves and Jane Horrocks.

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Gannon toured with the Northumberland Theatre Company in 2015 before landing roles in adverts for Halfords and Bet365.

His big break came in 2019, when he landed the role of Kev in Yorkshire TV soap Emmerdale.

The actor appeared in two episodes as a horse drawn carriage coachman.

As well as acting, Gannon was a musician who could sing, play the guitar, ukulele, piano and violin.

According to reports, he died on Tuesday (2 August).

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How did Sam Gannon die?

There are currently no details on how Sam Gannon died.

His mother Angela said the actor had had a heart condition from birth that had been troubling him in recent months.

However, no official cause of death has been given by investigators.

According to NationalWorld’s sister title the Yorkshire Post, which broke the story, police are not treating his death as suspicious.

What is known is that he was staying with family in Willows, California - a city that sits 80 miles north of the major hub of Sacramento.

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Angela Gannon said he had been “having a great time” in the great outdoors.

What has family said about Sam Gannon?

His family has paid tribute to the rising star.

According to Sam Gannon’s sister Amy Kelly, 34, the actor was a “whirlwind” and “unique”.

‘’He genuinely cared for others and was a very sensitive soul,” she said.

“It is clear from the tributes we have received that he touched the hearts of so many.’’

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One of the Yorkshireman’s friends, Lewis Matthews, described his friend as a “real life Duracell bunny” who had a “seemingly endless supply of energy and love”

“He delighted audiences with his charm, wit and his wonderful musical abilities," Matthews added.

Gannon’s family have launched a crowdfunding plea to help them repatriate his body from the US.

They need to raise £17,000, with his sister saying any money above this figure would be donated to a UK charity supporting young actors.