Lynda Bellingham OBE
(31 May 1948 - 19 October 2014)
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Miss Lynda Bellingham OBE
31 May 1948 - 19 October 2014
Lynda Bellingham, OBE (born Meredith Lee Hughes; 31 May 1948 – 19 October 2014) was a Canadian-born English actress, broadcaster and author, who starred in the long-running series of "Oxo Family" British TV adverts between 1983 and 1999, the drama series All Creatures Great and Small and in the comedy series Second Thoughts and Faith in the Future. She was a panellist on the ITV lunchtime chat show Loose Women between 2007 and 2011.
Lynda Bellingham was born in Montreal to Marjorie Hughes Bond (1918-2012), but was given up for adoption aged four months because she was born out of wedlock in a strict church-going family. Her adoptive parents were Donald and Ruth Bellingham, who lived in Aston Abbotts in Buckinghamshire, England. Lynda Bellingham was educated at Aylesbury High School and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Film and television
Film and television acting
Lynda Bellingham made her television début as a nurse in an ITV afternoon soap opera of the 1970s, General Hospital. She also starred in the films Confessions of a Driving Instructor (1976), Sweeney! (1977), Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977), and Riding High (1981) with Eddie Kidd.
Other prominent roles included in the James Herriot drama All Creatures Great and Small (in which she was the second actress to play Helen Herriot on television, replacing Carol Drinkwater) and the situation comedy Second Thoughts and its sequel, Faith in the Future.
Lynda Bellingham starred in the 14-part Doctor Who serial The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986 as the Inquisitor. She reprised the Inquisitor character for the Big Finish Productions audio series, Gallifrey, and in the Big Finish Productions audio drama Trial of the Valeyard (which she recorded only a few months before announcing her cancer). In 1999, she appeared in Gleb Panfilov's The Romanovs: A Crowned Family as Empress Alexandra.
From 2000 to 2003, Lynda Bellingham played Pauline Farnell, the compassionate accountant in At Home with the Braithwaites opposite Amanda Redman and former All Creatures Great and Small colleague Peter Davison. For several months in 2004, she had a recurring role in The Bill as villainess Irene Radford.
Lynda Bellingham also had a role in the ITV comedy Bonkers playing Mrs Wadlow, a man-eating suburban housewife who seduces her neighbour's teenage son and turns him into her gigolo. Later that year, she filmed guest appearances in episodes of Love Soup and Robin Hood. Television commercials
Lynda Bellingham played the central character in the long-running "Oxo Family" series of TV commercials, starting in 1983, playing a mother who binds her family together by cooking them meals featuring Oxo products. The advertisements typically featured the family sitting down to a meal at which Oxo gravy would be served. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the family were seen to grow older. When the campaign was retired in 1999, the family moved out of the house.
Lynda Bellingham joined Loose Women in 2007 and continued as a regular panellist until 2011.
Lynda Bellingham guest presented the ITV programme Lorraine for one episode on 17 December 2010.
In 2012, Lynda Bellingham presented her own cookery series called My Tasty Travels. In 2013, Lynda Bellingham presented the ITV programme Country House Sunday.
Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing
In 2009, Lynda Bellingham was one of the contestants in the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC ratings winner, where she was partnered with Darren Bennett. However, she was voted out by the judges in the fourth week.
In 1993, Lynda Bellingham was the subject of This Is Your Life when she was surprised by Michael Aspel on the set of Second Thoughts.
In 2010, Lynda Bellingham was the voice-over for British rap band N-Dubz's reality show on Channel 4.
In 2011, Lynda Bellingham featured in a viral YouTube short film "Too Close for Comfort" playing the character of a mother to her son in real life the actor Michael Peluso. She came back to reprise the role with her son for the follow up web series of the same name in 2014. Her character had developed cancer like the condition she suffered from in real life. Her acting scenes were filmed in her final few months and are believed to be the last recordings of her acting in character before she passed away. The web series is due for release in November 2014.
Twice in the 1960s, Lynda Bellingham appeared in the Pendley Open Air Shakespeare Festival.
In October 2007, Lynda Bellingham appeared in a play entitled Vincent River at the Trafalgar Studios in London. Her performance received critical acclaim and it was announced on Loose Women in early 2008 that the play would be moving to Broadway in July of that year, although this never transpired.
From September 2008 to July 2009, Lynda Bellingham played the role of Chris Harper in the stage version of the hit film Calendar Girls on tour and at the Noël Coward Theatre in the West End. She returned to the show for further tours in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Over the Christmas/New Year period of 2011/12, she played Fairy Godmother in the pantomime Cinderella at the Birmingham Hippodrome. She played the role again at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford over the Christmas/New Year period of 2012/13.
Lynda Bellingham was due to star in Kay Mellor's play A Passionate Woman at the Sheffield Crucible, followed by a national tour, however, it was announced in July 2013 that the show had to be postponed due to Bellingham's cancer treatment.
In 2010 Lynda Bellingham launched her book Lost and Found, a story of her life and career and toured the country for private readings.
In 2014 Lynda Bellingham released her autobiography There's Something I'm Dying to Tell You, released just weeks before her death.
Lynda Bellingham was married three times, first in 1975 to film and theatre producer Greg Smith. Her second marriage (1981–96) was to Nunzio Peluso, with whom she had two sons, Michael and Robbie.
On 31 May 2008, Lynda Bellingham married her boyfriend, Spain-based mortgage broker Michael Pattemore (known on Loose Women as "Mr Spain"), at St Stephen Walbrook on her 60th birthday.
Lynda Bellingham was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for voluntary service to charitable giving.
Lynda Bellingham's sister Barbara died of lung cancer in 2005, aged 66.
Illness and death
On 16 July 2013, it was announced that Lynda Bellingham had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She released a statement saying that she was "not going to die."
In September 2014, Lynda Bellingham confirmed that her cancer had metastasized to her lungs and liver and that she had "months to live". She announced that she had made the choice in August 2014 to stop her chemotherapy in November, so that she could have "one last Christmas" with her family and die in January 2015. However, Lynda Bellingham died on 19 October 2014 in her husband Michael's arms in a London hospital. A few weeks before her death, Lynda Bellingham's official website was taken down, with the message: "We're very sorry, at the request of Lynda and Michael we have temporarily taken the website offline."
On 3 November 2014, her funeral took place at St Bartholomew's Church in Crewkerne, attended by family and friends. Afterwards, she was buried in the adjoining churchyard.
This memorial has been generously sponsored by anonymous.
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