Gwyneth Powell’s cause of death revealed as tributes pour in for Grange Hill star

THE cause of death of actress Gwyneth Powell has been revealed, as tributes pour in for the Grange Hill star.

Powell was best known for playing headmistress Bridget McClusky between 1981 and 1991 and also appeared in Channel 4 comedy show Man Down.

Actress Gwyneth Powell has passed away at age 76Credit: Rex
Powell was best known for her roles in Grange Hill, A Touch of Frost, and Man Down
Powell was best known for her roles in Grange Hill, A Touch of Frost, and Man DownCredit: Rex
Her representative said she died 'after complications following a major operation'
Her representative said she died ‘after complications following a major operation’Credit: Rex

Her representative Matthew Lacey said in a statement on behalf of the family that the actress died at age 76 “after complications following a major operation for a perforated colon”.

She died last Thursday in Brighton and the statement added: “She passed away peacefully, with her husband (Alan Leith) and niece at her bedside.

“Gwyneth will be greatly missed by her adoring family and friends along with her many fans from multiple TV appearances.”

Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children’s and Education, said: “We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Gwyneth Powell.

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“Her famous portrayal of Mrs McClusky is one that will be fondly remembered by all those that grew up watching Grange Hill.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”

Powell was born in Manchester on July 5 1946 and landed her first major television role in the 1971 London Weekend Television dystopian drama series The Guardians.

Although she secured regular work and appeared in a series of TV dramas, her career accelerated after being cast in the children’s series Grange Hill, about life in a comprehensive school.

She played the tough but fair headmistress Bridget McClusky for a decade until requesting she was written out so she could pursue other roles.

Her other credits included Heartbeat, Holby City and Father Brown, and in 2013 she was cast as the mother of Welsh comic Greg Davies’ character in Channel 4 comedy Man Down.

Powell was married to fellow actor Alan Leith.

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