Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Bond actress drank drain cleaner

An inquest is being held into the death of Angela Scoular, the wife of Leslie Phillips

Angela Scoular - a James Bond film actress and wife of the comic actor Leslie Phillips - died after drinking drain cleaner and pouring it over herself, her inquest as heard.

The 65-year-old drank the One Shot Drain Cleaner after battling with alcoholism, manic depression and worries over debts, Westminster Coroner's Court heard.

The actress, who played Ruby Bartlett in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, suffered 40 per cent burns to her body, throat and dietary tract with the cleaner containing 91 per cent sulphuric acid.

Ms Scoular, whose inquest was heard in her married name of Phillips, was pronounced dead in hospital on April 11. She had battled alcoholism and depression for years and was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2008.

She underwent radiotherapy, chemotherapy, had surgery to remove diseased tissue and was given the all-clear, but in the months before her death she feared the cancer would return.

On the morning of her death, Ms Scoular was given breakfast in bed by her husband. Unbeknown to him, his wife of 35 years then found the bottle of drain cleaner and swallowed it. She ran outside, poured the acid over herself and slipped down the stairs to their house, fracturing her spine.

Mr Phillips, 87, who was too ill to attend the inquest, said in a statement that their life together was happy. "The only exception was her alcoholism," he said.

"She was a nervous type of person, not confident. But she was a kind, generous person who would help me with my work and I would help with hers.

"She was lovely when she was sober."

Ms Scoular's death was not suicide, the coroner ruled. She recorded a verdict of "killing herself while the balance of her mind was disturbed".

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