Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Jake Abraham shares warning after devastating cancer diagnosis

Gemma Thomas
Gemma Thomas
4 Min Read

Popular English actor Jake Abraham, who won hearts and laughter as the scouser ‘Dean’ in Guy Ritchie’s cult classic ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, has revealed a devastating health diagnosis in an exclusive interview with the Liverpool Echo.

The 56-year-old Liverpudlian, known for his comic timing and spirited on-screen presence, began his career in the 1980s amidst a “cauldron of talent” at The Everyman Youth Theatre. Abraham found his footing there, later going on to tour with the National Theatre and work with several industry greats. Yet, life has dealt a challenging hand to this talented actor following a recent diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer.

Despite feeling unwell for quite some time, Abraham pushed on, attributing his fatigue and aches to the strenuous demands of his work. The seriousness of his condition only came to light after passing blood in his urine, leading to a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.

The diagnosis was bleak. The cancer, present for perhaps as long as four years, had spread to his spine and hips. Although one tumour was successfully removed from his bladder, Abraham is now receiving palliative care. The situation has forced him to face the stark reality of his mortality, but in true Abraham style, he remains resilient, pragmatic, and upbeat.

Jake Abraham opens up about his cancer diagnosis in an interview with the Liverpool Echo

He wanted to break down the stigma associated with testing for prostate cancer, so he said, “I think most men take the approach of ‘oh, I’ll get on with it’. Well I’m palliative now, I found out really late down the line and there’s nothing they can do for me – I’ve just got it now and I’ve just got to wait for the day. But that could be avoided if you just get a PSA test.”

While dealing with his illness, Abraham is making the most of the time he has left, determined to make happy memories and tick off items on his bucket list. Among his aspirations is to see the architectural marvels of Rome and spend time with his grandchildren.

His family and friends have rallied around him, providing strength and encouragement. Notably, renowned playwright Alan Bleasdale, with whom Abraham has a longstanding friendship and working relationship, is a frequent visitor, bringing comfort, company, and occasionally a bag of pies from Anfield’s Homebaked Bakery.

Despite the prognosis, the accomplished actor retains a positive outlook and gratitude for a career that he loved. In his own words, “I’ve been really lucky, but I also did a lot of great stuff that I liked before ‘Lock, Stock’ came along, but it’s one of those films that is a cult classic.”

Jake as Dean in his most memorable role in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

His parting message, however, is a sobering reminder of the importance of early detection: “I was too late – please don’t leave it too late. You could save yourself ten or twenty years with your children and your family – and that’s the most priceless thing you’ve got.”

For me, Abraham’s memorable portrayal of Dean, alongside Victor McGuire as ‘Gary’, remains one of my favourite on-screen duos of all time. The pair’s one-liners are frequently quoted amongst my friends and me, often after a few beers, and we still find them hilarious. I, as I am sure all of you do, wish him all the best.

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