Stars pay tribute to actress McEwan
Tributes have been paid to actress Geraldine McEwan, known for playing Agatha Christie sleuth Miss Marple on television, after she died "peacefully" at 82.
Geraldine starred as the spinster consultant detective Jane Marple in 12 TV films on ITV.
The Bafta award winner had a long and successful career in theatre, television and films which saw her work alongside the likes of Sir Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Williams.
Actor John Challis, known for playing Boycie in Only Fools And Horses, tweeted: "Dear Geraldine McEwan - a highlight of my career working with you at the NT (National Theatre) in The Rivals. Generous and kind to all of us. God bless you."
Charlie Lawson, who plays Jim McDonald in Coronation Street, said: "The sad death of another fine actress, Geraldine McEwan, today. Check out The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie. Great performance."
And the official Olivier Awards account tweeted: "Sorry to hear that actress Geraldine McEwan had died, aged 82. Our thoughts are with her friends and family. RIP."
In 1953 McEwan married Hugh Cruttwell, a former principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts whom she first met while working at the Theatre Royal, Windsor. They had two children, Greg and Claudia, and she did not remarry after Cruttwell's death in 2002.
Her children said in a statement: "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."
Born Geraldine McKeown in Old Windsor, Berkshire, she announced she was retiring from the role of Miss Marple in 2008.
She said at the time: "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, and I am sure that my successor, whomever she may be, will thoroughly enjoy her time with the production team - and with the extraordinarily talented group of writers and actors that they come up with for each series.
"It's been an absolute pleasure to work on Miss Marple since 2003, and I leave with fond memories."
She inherited the role after it had previously been inhabited by Margaret Rutherford, Angela Lansbury and Joan Hickson.
Geraldine won a Bafta TV Award for best actress in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and collected two Evening Standard Best Actress Awards for her theatre work - in 1983 for The Rivals and 1995 for The Way Of The World.
Her notable film roles included box office hit Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves in 1991, which saw her play evil witch Mortianna alongside Kevin Costner.
The grandmother of seven also played Emmeline "Lucia" Lucas in cult television series Mapp And Lucia, based on three 1930s comedy of manners novels by EF Benson.
She was rumoured to have turned down both the OBE and a damehood, but never confirmed this.