Grange Hill headmistress Mrs McClusky star Gwyneth Powells cause of death revealed

A cause of death has been confirmed following the sad passing of Gwyneth Powell, best known for her role as headmistress Bridget McClusky in the popular BBC seriesGrange Hill, at age 76.

The actress,who passed away last Thursday(8 September), also appeared in the Channel 4 comedy show Man Down, and ITV’s A Touch of Frost.

Her representative Matthew Lacey said in a statement on behalf of the family that the actress died “after complications following a major operation for a perforated colon.”

She died in Brighton and the statement added: “She passed away peacefully, with her husband (Alan Leith) and niece at her bedside.

“Gwyneth will be greatly missed by her adoring family and friends along with her many fans from multiple TV appearances.”

Tributes to the actress poured in across social media, with one posting on Twitter: “So sad to hear the loss of Gwyneth Powell AKA Mrs McClusky, what a wonderful lady and will be missed by so many, she was a massive part of my childhood, sleep well Gwyneth xxx."

“RIP Gwyneth Powell: Mrs McCluskey off of Grange Hill but like a lot of actors well known for one role she was bloody ace in loads more (dating right back to The Guardians in 1971!!!). Terrific to see her still going strong in recent shows. Proper TV legend and a fine actress,” added another.

A third wrote: “Somewhat overshadowed by the death of the queen, we also lost the iconic Gwyneth Powell – the legendary Mrs McCluskey from Grange Hill, and, in a somewhat cosier role, the mother of Greg Davies in the immortal Man Down [black heart emoji].”

Gwyneth was born in Manchester on 5 July 1946 and landed her first major television role in the 1971 London Weekend Television dystopian drama series The Guardians.

Her career quickly reached new heights after she was cast in the BBC children’s series Grange Hill, about life in a comprehensive school.

She played the tough but fair headmistress Bridget McClusky for a decade until requesting she be written out, as she wanted to pursue other roles.

Her other credits included Heartbeat, Holby City and Father Brown, and in 2013 she was cast as the mother of Welsh comic Greg Davies’ character in Channel 4 comedy Man Down.

Powell also appeared on stage, adapting E. M. Delafield's Diary of a Provincial Lady into a a self-financed one-woman show, which debuted in Edinburgh. She also appeared in Arsenic and Old Lace at the Salisbury Playhouse.

She was married to fellow actor Alan Leith.


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