British 'The Crown' Star, Hadyn Gwynne, Succumbs to Cancer at Age 66

Reflecting on Hadyn's unparalleled contributions to cinema and theatre.

by Nouman Rasool
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British 'The Crown' Star, Hadyn Gwynne, Succumbs to Cancer at Age 66
© Antony Jones/GettyImages

British actress, Hadyn Gwynne, renowned for her diverse roles across screen and stage, passed away on Friday at the age of 66 after a recent cancer diagnosis. The sad news was confirmed by her agent, Alex Irwin, who stated that Gwynne was in the comforting embrace of her loving sons, close family, and dear friends during her final moments.

Before her rise to international stardom, Hadyn once walked the classrooms of Italy, teaching English. However, her undeniable talent soon found her in the spotlight with her pivotal role in the '90s sitcom, "Drop the Dead Donkey."

Gwynne's Diverse Acting Legacy

Throughout her illustrious career, Gwynne delivered a series of remarkable performances.

She graced screens in "Peak Practice," brilliantly portrayed Queen Camilla in "The Windsors," and played a pivotal role as Susan Hussey in the critically acclaimed series "The Crown." Not limiting herself to the small screen, Hadyn showcased her theatrical prowess when she shared the stage with Helen Mirren in 2013's play "The Audience," portraying none other than Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The acting world mourns the loss of such a luminary, and many tributes are pouring in. Notably, Helen Mirren, in her heartfelt statement to the Associated Press, remembered Hadyn as "a delightful individual and an extraordinarily dedicated actress." Mirren elaborated, "Her ability to blend humor with gravity was unparalleled, a trait that resonated throughout her career.

Her absence will be deeply felt." Over the years, Gwynne's contributions to the arts didn't go unnoticed. She was celebrated with nominations for an Olivier Award and a Tony for her evocative role in "Billy Elliot." Furthermore, her talents were recognized with Olivier nominations for performances in "The Threepenny Opera," "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," and "City of Angels." Recent reports from The Associated Press suggest that Hadyn was preparing to star in "Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends." However, she withdrew during rehearsals in September, citing unforeseen personal reasons.

Cameron Mackintosh, the musical's producer, described Hadyn as both "a phenomenal talent and an incredible human being." In tribute, Mackintosh dedicated Friday's performance to the late actress, honoring her enduring legacy.

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