This is according to fellow actor and old friend Lillian Dube.

Lillian, who was devastated by the loss of her friend of many years, said the legendary actor had just returned from a cruise.

She said: “He was excited about the cruise he had just been on.

“What made him really excited was that his wife really enjoyed it.

“I was actually supposed to meet him today so he could show me photos and tell me all about the trip.”

Lillian said they enjoyed gambling together.

“He introduced me to gambling and we often went to Gold Reef City Casino and had lots of fun.

“He was such a people’s person, full of warmth and love for others, no matter their class or background.”

Lillian said she got a call from a friend, telling her of Joe’s death.

“I refused to believe it because I had plans with him later.

“That was until I got an SMS from another friend and that’s when it hit me that it was true.

“I’m really devastated, but consoled in that he was so happy.”

The actor whose career spanned many decades inspired generations of artists.

His many accolades include being the first black person to win a Loerie Award in 1983.

Lillian said she was disappointed that she, Joe and other veteran actors were not invited to the weekend’s SAFTAs.

“It’s disappointing, considering our contribution to the industry.

“It’s sad that a lot of South African artists are acknowledged only once they have passed on.”