Actress Gwyneth Powell of Grange Hill Dead at 76

Actress Gwyneth Powell of Grange Hill Dead at 76

The actress Gwyneth Powell’s agent Matthew Lacey wrote in a statement on behalf of the family that Gwyneth Powell died ‘after complications following a major operation for a perforated colon.’ 

The actress died surrounded by loved ones on August 8, with the statement adding: ‘She passed away peacefully, with her husband (Alan Leith) and niece at her bedside.

‘Gwyneth will be greatly missed by her adoring family, friends, and fans from multiple TV appearances.’ 

The Lancashire-born actress began acting career in 1969 after training as a teacher at Goldsmith’s College in London. 

Her first roles would include a cameo in legendary British police drama Z Cars and science fiction thriller The Guardians, in which she starred as Clare Weston across 11 episodes. 

In the seventies, she would be introduced to Coronation Street fans as Diana Kenton, a minor role she held for three episodes of the long-running soap opera in 1976.   

But her starring role as headmistress Mrs. McClusky in teenage school drama Grange Hill turned her into a household name. 

The actress appeared in 169 episodes of the hugely popular show from 1980 – two years after its original launch – until 1991, seventeen years before its final episode would be aired by the BBC. 

A popular presence on the show, Powell had asked to be written out to focus on other roles, among them appearances on TV staples Casualty and Heartbeat. 

She would also star alongside comedian Greg Davies – himself a teacher before finding fame as an entertainer – in his Channel 4 comedy Man Down.  

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