English actress Haydn Gwynne, known for roles in Sherlock, The Windsors and Peak Practice, has died at the age of 66, it has been confirmed.


Gwynne passed away on Friday (20th October) following a battle with cancer, her agent confirmed in a statement (via the BBC), which 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 20th October, surrounded by her beloved sons, close family and friends.

"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."

Gwynne first appeared on screen in TV drama Nice Work in the late 1980s.

But it was thanks to her role as journalist Alex in newsroom satire Drop the Dead Donkey, which ran for six seasons between 1990 and 1998, that she really rose to fame.

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She also had a role as Lady Susan Hussey in hit Netflix show The Crown.

Gwynne starred on stage in Billy Elliot the Musical, too, and played Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Audience.

More recently, she featured in The Great British Bake Off Musical at the Noel Coward Theatre as a Prue Leith-esque judge named Pam Lee.

Talking to The Independent about how a stage show based on a TV baking competition would work, she explained: "It’s fun and it’s funny, but it’s moving, too, so I think [audiences] will get a lot from it.

"Heartwarming can be a cheesy word, but I think the sophistication and the quality of the writing and the lyrics will surprise you."

The star was due to return to the West End in a new production of Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends, but withdrew in September, citing "sudden personal circumstances" at the time.

In a statement announcing Gwynne’s departure, producer Cameron Mackintosh said: "Matthew Bourne and I were naturally very distressed, along with our brilliant cast headed by Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga, to learn that Haydn Gwynne must suddenly withdraw from the production, for the immediate future at least.


"Haydn gave an unforgettable performance of Ladies Who Lunch during the Old Friends Gala Premiere in May 2022 and has been an integral part of this very close-knit company ever since."