Downton Abbey's Lesley Nicol heartbroken as husband David Heald dies

DOWNTON Abbey star Lesley Nicol’s husband David Keith Heald has died.

Pals said the actress, 68, was devastated at David’s passing.

Lesley, who plays cook Mrs Patmore in the hit BBC drama and subsequent two films, had been performing her one-woman show in the US.

David worked as a spiritual healer and was known as Da'aboth Te'He'Ling.

In a statement Lesley’s agent Paul Pearson told The Sun: “I would like to confirm the passing of Lesley’s beloved husband David Heald, known to all his wonderful friends as Da’arboth.

“Da’arboth was an amazing, unique and inspirational man who was always at Lesley’s side ‘her warrior’ 

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“We are all processing this unexpected turn of events and Lesley would like to thank everyone for their loving and kind messages of support.”

Lesley and David, who lived together in West London, married in 2007.

Speaking about their relationship, Lesley said previously: “It’s a good partnership.

“I met him through a friend and we just hit it off.

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“He is a martial artist and he does lots of spiritual stuff like Reiki. But he is interested in our world.”

Friends of Lesley told The Sun she was heartbroken at his passing.

A pal said: “Lesley is heartbroken, of course.  

“They were a real couple and team.

“She was mobbed by fans around the world but he was not only her husband but her protector and biggest love. They had a very strong bond and love. 

“He was her biggest champion and always loved her success in recent years. 

“David was the most modest and kind man who was always happy his wife was in the spotlight. 

“They were always attending events together and he always was there as her rock, allowing her to shine while he stood back proudly.”

Lesley’s one-woman show, How The Hell Did I Get Here?, premiered in New York on April 22 and had been extended because of its phenomenal success.

She reprised her role as Mrs Patmore in the new Downton film, Downton Abbey: A New Era, which was released last Friday.

Speaking about stepping back into the role, Lesley said: “She’s insecure and she’s fragile.

“Sometimes she can be sarcastic and all of that, but that came as a result of seeing the interaction between us.

“It’s always nice to go back and be with her again.”

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Lesley’s autobiographical musical opened to rave reviews and follows her journey from a stage star to a big screen actress.

She said of the show: “This is a very personal story, but completely meant to be something that we all relate to because I’m just talking about what it’s like to be a human being.”

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