Geraldine McEwan dies at 82; actress played Miss Marple on British TV

Associated Press
Geraldine McEwan, a British actress who played Agatha Christie's Miss Marple on TV, dies at 82

Actress Geraldine McEwan, who played famed Agatha Christie detective Miss Marple on British television, died Friday in London. She was 82.

McEwan had been hospitalized since suffering a stroke in October, her family said.

She worked for many years in theater, television and films, sharing the stage with Laurence Olivier, Albert Finney and other top British stars.

She won numerous awards, including a BAFTA best actress prize for her 1989 performance in "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit."

McEwan was born May 9, 1932, in Old Windsor, 20 miles west of London, and made her stage debut at 14, moving into starring roles just four years later. She excelled at Shakespeare, playing major roles in "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Hamlet," and directing one of his plays.

She played Miss Marple in 12 TV episodes from 2004 to 2007, airing on BBC in Britain and PBS in the United States.

When she announced she was leaving the show, she said that it had been "a marvelous experience to inhabit" the role and that she was leaving with fond memories of playing Miss Marple, one of the most enduring figures of mystery fiction. Julia McKenzie replaced McEwan in the role.

McEwan's career also included the films "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991), "The Love Letter" (1999) and "The Magdalene Sisters" (2002).

She was married for nearly 50 years to Hugh Cruttwell, a former principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He died in 2002. She is survived by their two children, Greg and Claudia.

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