ITV Vera’s original stars now - from tragic death to role in Barbie

Vera fans were devastated to hear that the ITV crime drama is set to draw to a close after 14 series - but what have the show's stars done since first appearing on the show?

Brenda Blethyn plays the title character in the TV adaptation of Ann Cleeves' detective novels and has been joined by some big names in the North-East drama over the years.

She recently shared her thanks with fans ahead of filming the final series of Vera, writing: "Many thanks to everyone for your good wishes. so very much appreciated. getting ready to start filming Series 14 of Vera next week. gonna be hard saying farewell."

As Vera gets ready to say goodbye, what became of the show's familiar cast?

David Leon, Brenda Blethyn, Wunmi Mosaku and Paul Ritter starred together in Vera
Brenda Blethyn has starred in 14 seasons of Vera

David Leon - DS Joe Ashworth

Vera's first ever sidekick was Joe Ashworth, played by David Leon who had previously appeared in TV series Cutting It, and films RocknRolla and Alexander.

He left Vera after series four, returning in 2017 to direct an episode, but fans welcomed him back into the role of Joe in series 13 and he will finish the drama alongside Brenda for series 14.

Wunmi Mosaku - DC Holly Lawson

Wunmi Mosaku played DC Holly Lawson
David Leon, Brenda Blethyn, Wunmi Mosaku and Paul Ritter starred together in Vera -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Another of the show's original cast was Wunmi Mosaku, who starred in series one and two before bowing out as DC Holly Lawson.

She has gone on to huge success since her Vera days, with her biggest role in Marvel series Loki where she played Dr Verity Willis, aka Hunter B-15.

Wunmi's other TV roles have included Dancing on the Edge, Black Mirror, Luther, and most recently Passenger.

Paul Ritter - Dr Billy Cartwright

Paul Ritter passed away in 2021
Wunmi Mosaku played DC Holly Lawson -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Paul Ritter was one of Vera's most well-known cast members when he joined the series, having already had familiar roles in Harry Potter, Quantum of Solace and Nowhere Boy.

But tragically, the Friday Night Dinner star passed away in April 2021 aged 54 from a brain tumour, with many of his former co-stars and famous friends paying tribute to him.

Stephen Mangan tweeted: "Trying to find a way to talk about Paul Ritter and struggling. My friend since we were students together. So much talent and it shone from him even as a teenager. I was so lucky to know him and lucky too to work with him many times over the years. Wonderful man."

After his time on Vera, Paul had appeared in many other series and films, including Chernobyl, The Bletchley Circle and The Trial of Christine Keeler.

Cush Jumbo - DC Bethany Whelan

Cush Jumbo (far right) played DS Bethany Whelan twice
Paul Ritter passed away in 2021 -Credit:Getty Images

DC Bethany Whelan was played by Cush Jumbo twice - firstly in season two, with the actress then returning to her role for seasons five and six.

After her first stint in Vera, Cush joined the cast of The Good Wife and then spin-off The Good Fight, and most recently starred apposite Peter Capaldi in the Apple TV detective thriller Criminal Record.

Kingsley Ben-Adir - Dr Marcus Sumner

Kingsley Ben-Adir's first major role was in Vera
Cush Jumbo (far right) played DS Bethany Whelan twice -Credit:REX/Shutterstock
Kingsley Ben-Adir starred in Barbie
Kingsley Ben-Adir's first major role was in Vera -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Kingsley Ben-Adir joined Vera in season four as his first major TV role, staying until season six and then returning again in season eight.

The ITV series proved a springboard to stardom for Kingsley, who has arguably had the greatest success since appearing in the cast.

His TV credits include major roles in Peaky Blinders, Deep State, The OA and High Fidelity, but his film career has reached even greater heights.

Kingsley played Basketball Ken in the box office hit Barbie alongside Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, and took the lead role as Bob Marley in this year's biopic Bob Marley: One Love. He also played Malcolm X in 2020 film One Night in Miami...