'Downton Abbey' star Michelle Dockery's fiancé dies at 34

/ Source: TODAY

Actress Michelle Dockery, best known for playing the widowed Lady Mary on "Downton Abbey," has suffered a devastating loss of her own. Dockery's fiancé, John Dineen, died Sunday.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Michelle Dockery (L) and John Dineen attend the Winter Whites Gala in aid of Centrepoint at Kensington Palace on November 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M.Benett/Centrepoint/Getty Images for Centrepoint)Getty Images for Centrepoint

The Independent reports that Dineen, 34, had been battling "a long illness" and had been in the care of a hospice in Ireland prior to his death.

A spokesperson for Dockery told The Telegraph that she flew to be by his side.

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Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley on "Downton Abbey"Courtesy of Carnival

"The family is very grateful for the support and kindness they have received but would kindly request that they are left to grieve in private," her rep told the paper.

Dockery, who turned 34 Tuesday, met Dineen in 2013 when her "Downton" co-star Allen Leech (Tom Branson) introduced them.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: John Dineen and Michelle Dockery watch the women's singles semifinal match between Serena Williams of United States of America and Na Li of China on Day Twelve of the 2013 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2013 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

"John's like family to me and I knew he'd really get on with Michelle," the actor said of his matchmaking effort. "She's a great girl — probably as far from Lady Mary as you could imagine."

The pair were reportedly engaged in February, but rarely spoke of their relationship publicly.

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