Victoria Wood dead: Comedian and actress dies from cancer aged 62

Wood passed away at her family home in London 

Heather Saul@heatheranne9
Wednesday 20 April 2016 15:17
Victoria Wood Obituary

The five-time Bafta-winning actress and comedian Victoria Wood has died at her London home after a short illness with cancer. She was 62.

Her publicist Neil Reading confirmed her death in a statement this afternoon.

“Victoria Wood has sadly passed away, after a short but brave battle with cancer," the statement said.

“The multi-Bafta award-winning writer, director, actor and comedian died peacefully at her north London home with family this morning."

Born in Lancashire, Wood was educated at the Bury School for Girls before leaving to study drama at the University of Birmingham. She launched her career while still an undergraduate by appearing on the New Faces talent show in 1974. In 1976, Radio Times journalist Joan Bakewell heralded her as “a girl to watch” after previewing a new Monday night show featuring Wood.

Wood eventually established herself as one of the UK's most popular comedians in the 1980s with the BBC sketch show, Victoria Wood as Seen on TV, which featured Julie Walters. She then wrote, produced and starred in Dinner Ladies in 1998, a BBC sitcom about staff working in a fictional factory canteen in Manchester. The series won a number of awards including Best New TV Comedy at the 1999 British Comedy Awards.

While Dinnerladies only ran for two series, it was her portrayal of Bren, the simple but warm deputy manager and the affectionate relationship between the staff which ensured it was repeated on Gold long after it came to a close.

A stalwart of British comedy, she was awarded a CBE in 2008.

A number of comedians, entertainers and producers paid tribute to Wood after news of her death broke, with Richard Osman remembering her as “funny and clever and kind and melancholy and all the good stuff”.

The journalist and screenwriter Caitlin Moran recalled how seeing a woman on TV who was “working class, bookish, silly, clever, doing stand-up, singing, acting” inspired her to push forward in her own career.

Wood's long-term manager and friend, Phil McIntyre, said her passing would leave an “unfillable void” in the lives of her family and friends.

“Victoria has been a part of our lives as a friend, devoted mother and national treasure for 30 years. She was always modest, generous and undemanding. A super person and a super and unique talent. We will miss her deeply."

She married magician Geoffrey Durham in 1980. They had two children before separating in 2002.

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