Dallas actress Gayle Hunnicutt dies aged 80

Actress Gayle Hunnicutt has died at the age of 80.

The TV star was best known for her role as Vanessa Beaumont in iconic American soap drama Dallas, as well as starring in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Hunnicutt died on August 31 but a cause of death has not been revealed.

The actress, who hailed from Texas, famously appeared in three seasons of iconic series Dallas between 1989 to 1991. One of her biggest storylines saw her character Vanessa have a son with JR Ewing (played by Larry Hagman), who didn’t know the child existed.

After expressing her desire to become an actress at the age of five, Hunnicutt won a scholarship to attend the University of California in Los Angeles to study English Literature and Theatre.

It was there that the stars aligned and Hunnicutt was scouted by a Warner Bros scout while starring in a student production.

She went on to win roles in the comedy Mister Roberts as well as Wild Angels and eventually The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, in which she played the character Irene Adler.

Hunnicutt made her final on-screen appearance in an episode of CI5: The New Professionals in 1999.

Outside of Hollywood, the entertainer was also a published author having written the book Health and Beauty In Motherhood, released in 1984, and later a collection of love letters – titled Dearest Virginia – from her father who had served in the South Pacific.

Hunnicutt was married to British actor David Hemmings from 1968 to 1975 when they divorced. During their relationship, they welcomed son Nolan Hemmings who also went on to become an actor known for starring in Band of Brothers.

She went on to tie the knot with journalist Simon Jenkins in 1978 and they raised their son in London before splitting in 2009. In 2012, she appeared in an episode of HGTV series Selling London in which she attempted to sell the Primrose Hill home where the family had lived for three decades.

Hunnicutt began dating tennis journalist Richard Evans in 2010.

She is survived by her two sons and five grandchildren, Poppy, Theo, Oscar, Dash and Nia.

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