deddie

Deddie Davies, star of The Railway Children and Stella, dies aged 78

Gemma Strong

Some sad news this Christmastime. Deddie Davies, known for her role as Nell Perks in The Railway Children, has passed away at the age of 78. Tributes have been paid to the Bridgend-born actress, who also starred as Marj in the series Stella in recent years. Tony Gardner, who worked with Deddie in the comedy drama, tweeted: "Terribly saddened to hear Deddie Davies has died. She was a truly wonderful person."

Ruth Jones, Stella actress and co-creator, also remembered her "remarkable" co-star. "Deddie had been ill for a long time and I saw her about a month ago and showed her the Christmas special on my laptop," she said.

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Deddie Davies, star of The Railway Children and Stella, dies VIEW GALLERY

Deddie Davies pictured in 2014 with her Railway Children co-stars

"She loved working on Stella. She said it kept her going and she was massively loved by all the cast and crew. She was one of those rare people who didn't possess a grain of self-pity and whose company always brightened your day.

"A highly intelligent, joyful, talented and spectacularly spirited women, who was an inspiration to us all."

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Deddie- who was born Gillian Davies – started out in the entertainment industry back in the 1970s. Over the years, she became a well-known face on TV screens, appearing in shows including The Bill, Grange Hill, Upstairs, Downstairs, Whitechapel, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and The Forsyte Saga.

Deddie Davies, star of The Railway Children and Stella, dies VIEW GALLERY

The actress had been a well-known face on TV since the 1970s

Her agents told the BBC that the actress also spent a great deal of time working with charities to help safeguard the elderly, and would go "undercover" to help expose issues in care homes. "She was extremely professional, but she was extraordinary fun and joyous to be around," Kelly Andrews from Brown, Simcocks and Andrews said.

"She saw the best in everyone. She wasn't just an actress but an activist – she really cared about it."

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