Richard E Grant made an emotional return to the restaurant he always went to with his late wife Joan Washington when on vacation on Friday.
The actor, 65, took to Instagram to share a candid clip as he sat in the restaurant and shared how “bittersweet” he felt arriving there and ” ask for a table for one”.
In September 2021, Richard announced the death of his wife Joan at the age of 71 after 35 years of marriage and posted a heartbreaking video of them dancing together.
Difficult: Richard E Grant made an emotional return to the restaurant he always went to with his late wife Joan Washington when on vacation on Friday
He wrote in the caption of his post while at the restaurant: “Bittersweet solo return to a holiday diner frequented together for three decades.
‘Irresistible nostalgia and simultaneous heartbreak. It’s Friday! The weather is beautiful !! Life is meant to be lived!!!’
He added in the accompanying video: “It’s very loaded in memory. It’s bittersweet when you arrive and say “table for one please”. The new reality. But it’s Friday and my pocket is full of happiness.
Joan, a voice coach from Aberdeen, met Grant early in her career in 1986 and the couple had been together ever since.
Sad: In September 2021 Richard announced the death of his wife Joan aged 71 after 35 years of marriage and posted a heartbreaking video of them dancing together (pictured in February 2019)
The Withnail and Me star revealed Joan had passed away in a touching tribute that included video of the couple dancing together and laughing before kissing to The Platters’ song Only You.
Richard wrote: ‘ONLY YOU! Joan – Love of my Life & Giver of Life to our daughter Olivia.
“Our hearts are broken by the loss of your life last night. 35 years married and 38 together.
Message: The actor, 65, took to Instagram to share a candid clip as he sat in the restaurant and shared how “bittersweet” he felt arriving there and from “ask for a table for one”
‘To be truly known and seen by you is your immeasurable gift. Don’t forget us, my dear Monkee-mine.
The couple had overcome the tragedy in their lives and spoke publicly about the tragic death of their first child together after just half an hour.
Joan had suffered several miscarriages but was determined to keep trying after seeing how good her husband had been to her son from a previous relationship, Tom.
Then in 1989, she became pregnant with her daughter Olivia after telling her “Fatherhood looks good on you”. You are very good at it.
Difficult: He added in the accompanying video: “It’s very loaded in memory. It’s bittersweet when you walk up and say “table for one please”
Washington, from Aberdeen, trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and had nearly 40 years of experience in the film industry as a voice and dialect coach, working with stars like Anne Hathaway, Vanessa Redgrave and Emma Stone.
Among his early projects in the mid-80s were Yentl with Barbra Streisand, Highlander and The Bounty, with Mel Gibson and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
In recent years, she has worked on feature films such as The Witches, where she coached Hathaway as the Grand Witch, and Yorgos Lanthimos’ black comedy The Favourite, where she worked with Stone.
In a joint interview with The Independent in 2011, Grant recalled their first meeting.
Together: Joan Washington, her daughter Olivia Grant and Richard E Grant smile happily in this family photo taken in 2007
He said: “I met her at the Actors’ Center in London. She was wearing overalls and had pretty short, cropped hair and Kicker shoes, and was a chain smoker, which I thought was crazy.
“She was teaching an accent session with a group of actors, and I thought she had the most wonderful voice and huge monkey eyes. She seemed quite frantic.
“I thought she was really cute and all that. It was in December 1982.
The actor previously admitted he hadn’t considered getting married until he met her.
Love: Richard and Joan on their wedding day 35 years ago in a photo the actor posted to mark their anniversary
Speaking in an interview with The Independent, he explained: “I never really thought about getting married, I didn’t think it was necessary.”
“Joan had been married, and she told me firmly that she didn’t want to remarry, so we never talked about it.
It wasn’t until the couple spent six weeks apart when Richard returned to his family home in southern Africa for the Christmas holidays that he realized marriage was the ultimate commitment.
The star proposed immediately upon his return and Joan happily accepted, with the couple moving to Richmond, south-west London together.
Richard added: “Before I got married, I didn’t take it into account.
“My parents divorced when I was 11 and it made such a deep impression on my life that I guess I thought that by not getting married you could save your life from being cut in half. But that has changed.
The couple went on to have a daughter, Olivia, 31, while Richard is stepfather to Tom, 44, from Joan’s previous marriage.
Tragically, Joan suffered three miscarriages and the couple’s first child, Tiffany, died shortly after birth after being born prematurely.
The actor has since described his daughter Olivia as a “miracle baby.”
Sweet: The devoted couple were seen at Wimbledon in 2019 having fun playing tennis