British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

LONDON (AP) — The family of longtime actress Geraldine McEwan says she has died following treatment for a stroke. She was 82.

McEwan was known for many roles including playing the famous Agatha Christie detective Miss Marple in 12 TV episodes.

Her two children said in a statement that she died Friday after suffering a severe stroke at the end of October. She had been hospitalized extensively since then.

McEwan worked for many years in theater, television and films, sharing the stage with Laurence Olivier, Albert Finney, and other top British stars.

She won numerous awards, including a BAFTA Best Actress prize for her 1989 performance in "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit."

McEwan was born in Old Windsor, 20 miles (30 kilometers) west of London and made her stage debut at 14, moving into starring roles just four years later. She excelled at Shakespeare, playing major roles in "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Hamlet," and directing one of the Bard's plays.

She played Miss Marple in 12 TV episodes from 2004 to 2008, stepping down at the end of a hugely successful run as the fictional detective.

When she announced she was leaving the show, she said it had been "a marvelous experience to inhabit" the role and that she was leaving with fond memories of playing Miss Marple, one of the most enduring figures of mystery fiction.

Her career also included movies like "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," in which she played an evil witch alongside Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman.

She was married for nearly 50 years to Hugh Cruttwell, a former principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He died in 2002. She is survived by their two children, Greg and Claudia.


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