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Film and stage star Dulcie Gray dies

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Dulcie Gray, one of the best-loved British screen and stage actors of the second half of the last century, died earlier today from bronchial pneumonia in the actors’ residential care home, Denville Hall. She was 95.

Together with her husband and fellow actor Michael Denison, Gray was one half of a glamorous acting partnership that proved perennially popular on film, television and stage for much of their 59-year marriage.

Born in Kuala Lumpur in 1915, she trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts and found fame in a series of ripe black-and-white melodramas for Gainsborough Studios in the 1940s. She became a star on stage with roles in The Little Foxes and Brighton Rock, and made several appearances in the West End (usually alongside Denison) before finding television fame in the 1980s as Kate Harvey in the nautical drama series, Howard’s Way. Following Denison’s death in 1998, she returned to the stage to appear in adaptations of The Ladykillers and The Lady Vanishes.

She enjoyed a second career as a novelist, penning two dozen books, including 17 that featured her dogged sleuth, Inspector Cardiff.

She was awarded a CBE for services to drama in 1983. A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Stage.