Norwich theatre boss pays tribute to actress Lynda Bellingham

Lynda Bellingham. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Lynda Bellingham. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The boss of one of Norwich's theatres has paid tribute to Lynda Bellingham, describing the actress and a 'great personality' and an 'enduring inspiration.'

Best known for her role as a mother in the Oxo TV adverts, the 66-year-old star died on Sunday. She had been battling colon cancer, which later spread to her lungs and liver, since being diagnosed in July last year.

She had been due to star in A Passionate Woman at Norwich Theatre Royal but the tour was postponed following her cancer diagnosis.

Peter Wilson, Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive, said: 'Lynda toured here twice in recent years in Calendar Girls, first in March 2009 opposite Sian Phillips, Patricia Hodge and Gaynor Faye, and then returned in April 2012 in the play opposite Lisa Riley, Camilla Dallerup and Jan Harvey.

'As well as giving her all on stage, Lynda also threw her support behind fundraising for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research on both visits. The latter also saw her and the rest of the leads donning dressing gowns and posing outside The Forum with collecting buckets in true Calendar Girls style to encourage patrons to dig deep for the charity after seeing the show.

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'I first worked with Lynda over 30 years ago and have been a fan ever since. She was a great personality. Lynda was warm and approachable, talented and entertaining as an actor and as a friend. She deserved every happiness and success that came her way. Her firm gaze in the face of death is an enduring inspiration.'

On behalf of Bellingham's family, her agent, Sue Latimer, said: 'As an actor, writer and presenter, Lynda was a consummate professional to the very end.

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'Those of us privileged to have known her personally will miss the entertaining, life enhancing, true and honest friend that blessed our lives.'

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