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Richard E. Grant Remembers Late Wife on Her Birthday: ‘I Miss Her More Than Is Measurable’

Joan Washington and Richard E. Grant

Joan Washington and Richard E. Grant

Richard E. Grant and Joan Washington.
Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty

Richard E. Grant is remembering his late wife Joan Washington on what would have been her 73rd birthday.

On Tuesday, Grant, 65, shared a photo of Washington on Twitter that the actor wrote was taken on her last birthday before she died.

“Taken on her last ever birthday, 21st December – my beloved late wife Joan,” the actor wrote on Twitter. “Her bravery, fortitude, resistance and acceptance of her diagnosis, are an inexhaustible inspiration.”

“I miss her more than is measurable,” Grant added in the Twitter post, along with four emoji hearts.

Grant originally announced Washington Joan had died at 71 after 35 years of marriage in September 2021 in a social media statement.

At the time, Grant shared a sweet video of himself dancing with his love, which ended with the pair hugging in a warm embrace.

“🎵ONLY YOU!🎵Joan – Love of my Life & Giver of Life to our daughter Olivia,” Grant wrote on Twitter at the time.

“Our hearts are broken with the loss of your Life last night. 35 years married & 38 together,” he added. “To be truly known and seen by you, is your immeasurable gift.”

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In October, Grant opened up about the title of his newly released memoir A Pocketful of Happiness on an episode of the Happy Place podcast, saying it was inspired by advice Washington gave him and their daughter Olivia while she was sick: “to try and find a pocketful of happiness each day.”

Grant went on to say that his late wife’s words became his and Olivia’s “mantra for trying to navigate our way through this abyss that grief plunges you into.”

The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker actor also shared that writing the book “was like resurrecting my wife, because I went through all the stuff of how we met and all the good things that happened to us [over] almost 40 years together, career and personal.”

“So that was amazingly helpful,” he added.

Joan Washington and Richard E Grant attend day eight of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 09, 2019 in London, England.

Joan Washington and Richard E Grant attend day eight of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 09, 2019 in London, England.

Joan Washington and Richard E. Grant.
Karwai Tang/Getty

Grant said that his late wife’s advice to him and Olivia “gave [them] permission to be happy,” even though it was difficult.

“My own experience is you feel guilty if you have a good day [or] you feel happy about something … there’s a sense that you’re being judged by other people [who think], ‘How can this person be happy when that has just happened to them?’ ” he explained.

But a year later, when Grant looks back at photos of Washington, “I see her in her prime, when she was well, rather than what the cancer did to her,” he said.

“It’s a trick of what the brain does, and what your memory does, to help you survive,” Grant added.