Michael Sleggs, the English actor best known for his role on This Country, has died. He was 33.
Sleggs, who had recently been sent home from the hospital on palliative care, died on Tuesday after battling a terminal illness, his friend Camilla Alicia Bates confirmed in a post on Facebook.
“It’s the hardest, weirdest thing writing this post but tonight I have lost my dear friend, my love Michael Christian Sleggs,” she wrote on Tuesday evening. “We had our proper goodbye Sunday where he cheekily kept asking for kisses and cuddles and he told me he loved me and to be happy.”
“Thank you to his family for letting me be with him just after he passed and sitting with them all crying and reminiscing over his wondurous life, their strength and hospitality has been incredible throughout this whole time,” Bates added.
Charlie Cooper, the co-creator of the BBC Three show that Sleggs starred on, also confirmed the sad news in a series of tweets early Wednesday morning.
“We are completely heartbroken. Michael was utterly unique. He was kind, he was caring, he was loving,” he wrote. “One of the most considerate generous and gentle friends you could ever wish for and funny- f— me he was funny.”
“Despite everything that Michael had been through in his life, he was never bitter or self pitying. He just brought pure joy to everything and everyone,” Cooper continued. “Just being in his company made you happy to be alive.”
“Michael you will be so so missed. xxx,” he added.
3/4 One of Michael’s favourite films was the Muppet Christmas Carol and he would always joke that he was Tiny Tim so it only seems fitting to quote Kermit the frog...— Charlie Cooper (@charliecooper11) July 10, 2019
Sleggs made headlines recently when he revealed he was dying from a terminal illness and had been sent home from the hospital on palliative care.
Despite the grim prognosis, the British sitcom actor seemed to have a positive outlook on the situation, noting in the May 22 Facebook post that while dying “isn’t ideal,” he was “blessed with the best life.”
“As a lot of you are probably aware I’ve spent a lot of time in and out of hospital over the past few months,” he wrote. “This last time it was decided i was reaching the end of options so they’ve sent me home on palliative care to live out the remainder of my days at home. No specific time limit has been given but deterioration has been fairly rapid.”
“[A]s you can imagine this isn’t the ideal way I wished things to go and my family are dealing with a lot of grief,” he wrote, adding that he felt grateful to have an opportunity to say goodbye to his friends and followers.
“If you’re wondering why I’m not sounding freaked out by the whole situation. Well, initially I was, but, as always in a time of crisis (should have been way before I’m ashamed to say) I turned to God and my Christian faith,” he shared. “Been reading the Bible daily, listening to Christian songs and sermons and its changed my entire mindset to nothing but peace and gratitude.”
“Guys, regardless of a few medical issues, I have been blessed with the best life and the best friends and aside from not following God more diligently earlier in life I dont have any regrets,” Sleggs added.
Though Sleggs did not specifically mention the illness he was suffering from, several outlets including Chortle (which the actor shared on his Facebook shortly after the announcement, but has since deleted) reported that he was dying from cancer.
On June 1, however, he refuted those claims in a Facebook post and gave an update about his medical condition, which he said appeared to be improving.
“Right let’s clear some things up. I dont have any cancer, haven’t had for 18 years,” he wrote. “Sure, recently I was put onto palliative care cuz my heart failure was getting out of control. By last Friday I was certain I wouldn’t be here the next week but miraculously I made some sort of great turn around over the weekend.”
“Honestly, surviving was the last thing I thought was gonna happen last week and then I woke up yesterday,” he added. “I dont know how long this turn around will last but I’ll try and keep alive as long as I can.”
Following the post, Sleggs went on to live a little over a month before he sadly died on July 9.
In the wake of his passing, many have paid tribute to the late actor on social media.
In Bates’ post, she explained how devastated she was over the tragic news and how she was struggling to go on without her close friend.
“I don’t really have the words to explain the feelings I have right now but I wanted to share because he should be celebrated,” she wrote. “The world has truly lost the most unique, bravest person I have ever known.”
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“He has always been my absolute rock and supported me through the hard times even when he has been the one in so much pain and going through all that he has,” Bates continued. “Michael is a medical miracle and [no]one, except his family, have really seen all he has survived and been through his whole life.”
“I have so many memories of our time together and I am grateful for all he has done for me, he changed my life,” she shared. “I don’t know how I’m going to get over not being with him again. He has taught me so much without even realising and I feel lucky to have known and shared so much with him.”
“Sleep tight my love. I know you are in a better, peaceful place ❤,” Bates added. “Life is so short. Perspective is everything.”
The WTAF A This Country podcast reacted to the news of Sleggs’ death in a tweet of their own.
“We are devastated! Our friend, the man the legend Michael Sleggs #Slugs passed away last night. RIP Michael. You are one in a million,” they wrote alongside a photo with the actor.
Simon Mayhew-Archer, a producer for This Country, also praised the star for what he brought to the British sitcom.
“Michael encapsulated the spirit and humour of This Country. He was a fantastic, talented man who brought tremendous joy to all who knew him & saw him. I loved working with him & will miss him,” he wrote.
Sleggs starred on BBC Three’s This Country as “Michael ‘Slugs’ Slugette” from 2017 to 2018, appearing in seven episodes throughout that time, according to IMDb.
At one point, the sitcom, which follows the lives of young people living in modern rural Britain, also incorporated a storyline where Sleggs’ character was diagnosed with cancer.