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Jennifer Garner announces death of ‘kind and brilliant’ father aged 85

US actress Jennifer Garner has announced the death of her father at the age of 85.

The 13 Going On 30 star said her father William “passed peacefully” on Saturday afternoon, leaving behind a “loving legacy”.

“We were with him, singing Amazing Grace as he left us (did we carry him across or scare him away — valid question),” she joked on Instagram, sharing a series of pictures of the pair.

“While there is no tragedy in the death of an 85-year-old man who lived a healthy, wonderful life, I know grief is unavoidable, waiting around unexpected corners.

“Today is for gratitude.

“We are grateful for Dad’s gentle demeanour and quiet strength. For how he teased with a mischievous smile, and for the way he invented the role of all in, ever patient girl dad. We are grateful for his work ethic, leadership and faith.”

Garner said her family were extending their gratitude to the Charleston Area Medical Centre and City of Hope – which is a “world-renowned pioneer in cancer research, treatment and prevention”.

“Your care extended Dad’s life and gave him time to be in his favourite spots — surrounded by daughters and grandchildren, cheering for his beloved Aggies, captaining a boat, and — most of all — next to his wife of 59 years, our Mum,” she said.

“There is so much to say about my dad — my sisters and I will never be done talking about how wonderful he was, so bear with us — but for today I share these memories with my appreciation for the kind and brilliant man, father, and grandfather he was, as well as the loving legacy he left behind.”

It comes three months after her mother Patricia Ann and father celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary, where she described them as “incredibly sweet and loving parents”.

Garner and her father had a close relationship, starring in a 2016 advert for Capital One.

“When I first started working with Capital One, my dad called them up and asked for the Jennifer Garner card, which is such a dad thing to do,” she recounted of the advert.

“My dad was so proud to tell her, ‘As a matter of fact she is my middle daughter’.”

Her father appeared in the advert to deliver the credit card’s famous “What’s in your wallet” tagline, before Garner gave him a hug and said “that was good, dad”.