Drop The Dead Donkey and The Crown star Haydn Gwynne dies after illness

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    Actress Haydn Gwynne has sadly passed away at the age of 66 from a recent cancer diagnosis.

    The star was known for appearing in a number of popular TV shows. This included Netflix's hit series, The Crown, Channel 4 comedy The Windsors and sitcom Drop The Dead Donkey.

    On Friday 20, a statement shared by her representatives confirmed the news. The statement read: "It is with great sadness we are sharing with you that, following her recent diagnosis with cancer, the star of stage and screen Haydn Gwynne died in hospital in the small hours of Friday 20 October, surrounded by her beloved sons, close family and friends."

    The statement also thanked those who helped Haydn before her passing. It added: "We would like to thank the staff and teams at the Royal Marsden and Brompton Hospitals for their wonderful care over the last few weeks."

    Haydn was scheduled to make a return to the West End in September in the new production of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends, however the star pulled out earlier in the month due to "sudden personal circumstances".

    The actress first catapulted to fame in her mid-twenties when she played Dr Robyn Penrose in the BBC mini-series adaptation of David Lodge's Nice Work in 1989.

    This was then followed by her breakout role that came in 1990, when she was cast as Alex Pates in Drop the Dead Donkey. The earned her a BAFTA nomination for Best Light Entertainment Performance in 1992.

    Following on from this, Haydn then went on to appear in Time Riders and Peak Practice, as well as Merseybeat and The Secret. Throughout her incredible career she also became known for her standout roles including playing Camilla in The Windors and Susan Hussey in Netflix's The Crown. In addition to this, Haydn starred in Silent Witness and BBC's Death in Paradise.

    Away from her television roles, Haydn studied sociology at the University of Nottingham and she was also fluent in both Spanish and Italian. During her career, she also took a five-year lectureship in Italy at the University of Rome La Sapienza, where she taught English.

    The actress is survived by her partner Jason Phipps, and their two sons – Orlando, 26, and Harrison, 23.

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