Geraldine McEwan, the British actress best known for her role as Miss Marple in the ITV adaptations of Agatha Christie's detective novels, has died at the age of 82. Her family released a statement on Saturday (31st January) confirming McEwan had passed away on Friday 30th January following a stroke in October 2014. 

"Following a stroke at the end of October and a period in hospital, Geraldine McEwan passed away peacefully on January 30. Her family would like to thank the staff at Charing Cross Hospital who cared for her incredibly well," McEwan's two children, Greg and Claudia, said in a statement to the BBC.

McEwan was born in Old Windsor, Berkshire in 1932. At the age of 19, she married Hugh Cruttwell, a former principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. The couple had two children: a son, actor Greg Cruttwell, and a daughter, Claudia. Cruttwell died in 2002 and McEwan did not re-marry after his death. 

McEwan's career as a stage, television and film actress spanned six decades. She began her career on the stage and spent a number of seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1950s and 1960s. McEwan, despite progressing on to film and television, continued to appear on the stage and won an Evening Standard Award in 1995 for her role in The Way of the World and a nomination for a Tony Award in 1998 for her role in The Chairs

McEwan's film credits include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, in which she starred as witch Mortianna, Peter Mullan's The Magdalene Sisters and Vanity Fair, in which she starred opposite James Purefoy and Reese Witherspoon.  

McEwan's television career was prolific and her performances in a number of productions were highly praised. Her performance in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit in 1991 earned her a BAFTA for Best Actress. Yet the role McEwan is best known for is that of Miss Marple. McEwan starred as a sleuth from 2004 and 2009 in 12 ITV adaptations of the mystery novels. 

Contactmusic send their condolences to Geraldine McEwan's family at this difficult time.