Saturday, 31 January 2015

Miss Marple actress Geraldine McEwan dies aged 82

(c) ITV
The actress, best known for playing Miss Marple in the ITV series, has died aged 82. 

Geraldine McEwan's family have announced that the actress died on 30th January 2015 following a stroke she had in October 2014. McEwan was perhaps best known for her role as Agatha Christie's much loved elderly detective Miss Jane Marple, whom she played from 2004-2009 in the ITV series Agatha Christie's Marple.

In a statement, her children Greg and Claudia said, "Following a stroke at the end of October and a period in hospital, Geraldine McEwan passed away peacefully on January 30.
Her family would like to thank the staff at Charing Cross Hospital who cared for her incredibly well."

Ms McEwan played the title role in 12 feature length TV films and was very popular in the role. Her quirky touch gave the character a new side, but Geraldine also gave Miss Marple a very keen sense of justice that was true to Agatha Christie's original character. She first played the role in The Body in the Library in 2004 and grew to be highly popular and respected in the role. Her last appearance was in 2009's Nemesis.

Geraldine McEwan had a long career in theatre, film and television and won a BAFTA for Best Actress for the film Oranges are Not the Only Fruit in 1991. She was known for playing Lucia in the original ITV series of Mapp and Lucia, which was recently revived for the BBC starring Miranda Richardson and Anna Chancellor. She also starred in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Magdalene Sisters, played the title character in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1978 and appeared in Wallace and Grommet and the Curse of the Warerabbit.

(c) ITV 
She retired from the role of Miss Marple in 2008 after playing the role in 12 episodes. Her final film, Nemesis, was broadcast in 2009. After her retirement, Julia McKenzie took over as Miss Marple in the remaining 11 episodes. On playing Miss Marple, Geraldine McEwan said, "Of course, it is terribly disappointing to have to pass the baton on, but it has been a marvellous experience to inhabit this role for the last few years" - The Guardian, 2009 

Matthew Pritchard, Agatha Christie's grandson, told the Guardian in 2009 that, "I think she brought a humanity and playfulness to the role"

My thoughts and prayers go out to McEwan's family and friends at this sad time. 

Here's a clip of Geraldine McEwan in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1978) 

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