(Kevin Lawlinson’s article appeared in the Guardian, 12/21.)

The actor Billie Whitelaw, who was best known for her work with Samuel Beckett, has died aged 82, her son has confirmed.

Whitelaw spent her final years in Denville Hall, the retirement home for actors in north London, which was supported by Richard Attenborough. She was awarded a CBE by the Queen in the 1991 birthday honours list.

Her son Matthew Muller paid tribute to her on Sunday, telling the Guardian that, besides being a renowned actor, she was also “an incredibly loving mother”.

“I am going to miss her deeply. When I was five years old, she nursed me through meningitis and, in the last few years of her life, I was there for her as well.

“It is difficult to know what to say when your mum dies, I just want the theatrical world to know what happened.”

Whitelaw was well known for her roles in the 1976 film The Omen and the 2007 police comedy Hot Fuzz. But it was her theatre work – particularly her intepretations of the work of Samuel Beckett – for which she will be best remembered.

Muller said that his mother had not been well for about a year and had deteriorated quickly in recent months. He said that the pair were very close and said he visited regularly.


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