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Obituary: 'Ball of joy' actress Clare Cathcart was a star of both stage and screen

Clare Cathcart, the Fermanagh-born actress who died at her home in Brighton last week, was well-known for her stage career and roles in several TV series including Call the Midwife. She was 48.

Clare, also known as Claire, was born in the village of Ballinaleck in Fermanagh, and was a graduate of London's Royal Holloway College.

She made an early impression in the Joyriders, and in 1987 she made her television debut in the mini-series Lost Belongings by the Ulster playwright Stewart Parker.

Her Northern Ireland background gave her particular insights for a number of productions, including Hector MacMillan's The Sash for a Scottish theatre group, Geraldine Aron's Same Old Moon at the Oxford Playhouse in 1991, and two years later in Sam Mendes' revival of Brian Friel's acclaimed Translations at the Donmar Warehouse in London.

In 1989 she played in the Duchess of Malfi with the Contact Theatre in Manchester. Following in the footsteps of other Ulster actors, she made her debut at the National Theatre in London, appearing in 1990 in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

More recently she appeared in The Indian Boys with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2011 she appeared with Lenny Henry at the Olivier Theatre in A Comedy of Errors.

The comedienne Miranda Hart said: "I am reeling from the news of Clare's death. I had the privilege of some serious laughing together with her in Call The Midwife. She was a ball of joy."

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