By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor
Martine McCutcheon has said her heart is “forever broken” following the death of her brother aged 31.
The Love Actually actress, 46, said Laurence John, known as LJ, died two weeks ago without any “medical explanation”.
In a lengthy Instagram post, she said LJ was due to be married in November and had asked her to be a bridesmaid.
She wrote: “My heart is forever broken… My baby brother, my gentle giant, sadly passed away, suddenly, 2 weeks ago. He was 31 years old.
“There is no medical explanation as to why we lost him so soon and whilst we investigate further, we are having to accept that nothing will bring our boy back to us.
“L.J (Laurence John) was born when I was 15 years old and from the moment I first held him in my arms, I felt so proud and fiercely protective of him. He was such a character!”
McCutcheon, who won a Laurence Olivier award in 2002, shared two photos of her brother including one of them smiling while sitting together.
She wrote: “I was asked to be bridesmaid and the last time I saw him, was a few days before he passed.
“He, jack and his future stepson had been to try on their wedding suits and then they came back to have dinner with his fiancee and the family to see our new home.
“He looked so tanned, tall and handsome. The best I’ve ever seen him… Ironic really…
“My heart aches for all who have lost him. But my heart breaks for our mum, his dad John & his Step parents.
“You should never outlive your children. Im scared to live without you LJ but I know you will want us to truly live, laugh and love in your memory. I will try I promise.”
Messages of support came from friends such as broadcaster Clara Amfo, reality TV personality Billie Faiers and singer and presenter Myleene Klass.
In June 2021, McCutcheon posted on Instagram celebrating her brother’s 30th birthday.
Describing herself as “so proud” of her sibling, she added: “You’ve battled at times with your special needs and have had your struggles but you were always determined to live a normal life, have a good job, fall in love and get married….
“The things so many take for granted were your biggest dreams and now it’s all coming true for you!”