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What happened to Agatha Christie's Marple star Geraldine McEwan?

The actress played the titular role for five years

Francesca Shillcock

From 2004 until 2013, Agatha Christie's classic tales of Miss Marple were played out on screen in ITV's Marple. The show became a staple on viewers TV screens and marked one of the final roles for leading actress Geraldine McEwan.

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Geraldine had a hugely successful acting career

By the time Geraldine landed the role of the titular character, the actress was already a household name thanks to her impressive career in theatre, film and TV, so when she sadly passed away in 2015, it was a real loss for the thespian world. Find out about her career and how she died below...

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Geraldine McEwan: Agatha Christie's Marple

Geraldine took on the part of Miss Marple in 2004 and remained in the leading role until the drama's fourth series in 2009, when fellow hailed actress Julia McKenzie took over. During the three years and three series she was on the show, Geraldine starred alongside many other big names that often appeared throughout the different episodes such as Joanna Lumley, Richard E. Grant and Dawn French.

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Geraldine McEwan played Marple for five years

What else was Geraldine McEwan known for?

Geraldine began her acting career on the stage in the early fifties and subsequently began appearing in many productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company. For her theatre work, Geraldine was honoured with five nominations for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award and was later nominated for a Tony award in West End play The Chairs.

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Geraldine passed away in 2015

Although mostly known for her theatre work, Geraldine also appeared in a number of other TV shows and films such as The Barchester Chronicles, Red Dwarf and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves alongside Kevin Costner. She also starred in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit in 1991 – for which she awarded the BAFTA Award for Best Actress.

In 1953, Geraldine married fellow actor Hugh Cruttwell after meeting during a theatre production. Together they had two children, a son, Greg, and a daughter, Claudia. However the couple separated in 1984.

How did Geraldine McEwan die?

On 30 January 2015, Geraldine sadly passed away aged 82 at hospital after suffering a stroke three months earlier. Her family put out a statement to announce the news. "Following a stroke at the end of October and a period in hospital, Geraldine McEwan passed away peacefully on 30 January. Her family would like to thank the staff at Charing Cross hospital who cared for her incredibly well." 

Tributes came flooding in for the actress after the sad news broke. John Challis, best known for playing Boycie on sitcom Only Fools and Horses said on Twitter at the time: "Not Geraldine McEwan! A wonderful actress and definitive Lucia in Mapp & Lucia. A joy on stage and screen. Another bright light dimmed." Doctor Who and The Brothers star Colin Baker wrote: "So sad to hear Geraldine McEwan has died today." Meanwhile, Gimme Gimme Gimme simply wrote: "RIP Geraldine McEwan." 

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