British stage and TV actress Haydn Gwynne dies aged 66

British actress Haydn Gwynne dies aged 66
British actress Haydn Gwynne dies aged 66 Copyright Getty
By David Mouriquand
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Her career included award-winning turns in Billy Elliot The Musical, as well as roles in TV shows Drop Dead Donkey, The Windsors and The Crown.


British actress Haydn Gwynne has died aged 66, following a recent cancer diagnosis.

The stage and screen performer was best known for her roles in comedy series Drop The Dead Donkey, Peak Practice, Silent Witness, and as Camilla in royal spoof The Windsors. Gwynne also portrayed former royal aide Lady Susan Hussey, who resigned from the royal household following a racism row, in the fifth series of The Crown.

A statement from her representatives said: "It is with great sadness we are sharing with you that, following her recent diagnosis with cancer, the star of stage and screen Haydn Gwynne died in hospital in the small hours of Friday October 20, surrounded by her beloved sons, close family and friends. We would like to thank the staff and teams at the Royal Marsden and Brompton Hospitals for their wonderful care over the last few weeks."

Born in Sussex in 1957, Gwynne spent her early adult life in Rome teaching English. She returned home at the age of 25 to persue her dream of becoming an actress.

She first made her name in 1990 as Alex Pates in the comedy Drop The Dead Donkey, which earned her a BAFTA TV nomination in 1992. Her role as Dr Joanna Graham in Peak Practice propelled her to further fame.

She also had an acclaimed stage career, receiving four Olivier Award nominations for her performances in West End productions of City Of Angels, Billy Elliot The Musical, The Threepenny Opera and 2015’s Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, based on the Pedro Almodovar film, in which she starred alongside Tamsin Greig.

Gwynne was awarded the Outer Critics Circle Award, Theatre World Award, and Drama Desk Award for her performance in Billy Elliot. She was also nominated for a 2009 Tony Award, Featured Actress in a Musical.

Her West End theatre roles also included playing Margaret Thatcher in Peter Morgan's 2013 play The Audience, which also starred Dame Helen Mirren as the Queen.

She had joined The Great British Bake Off Musical as Pam Lee, the judge based on Prue Leith, earlier this year.

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