Actor Rosemary Leach dies aged 81

Caroline Davies
Rosemary Leach on the set of the TV series Power Game in 1966.
Rosemary Leach on the set of the TV series Power Game in 1966. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Rosemary Leach, the award-winning stage and screen actor best known for the films A Room With a View and That’ll Be The Day, has died after a short illness.

Leach, who also played Grace in the TV sitcom My Family, which starred Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker, was 81.

Her agent Caroline de Wolfe said in a statement: “It is with great sadness I must report the news that Rosemary Leach died in hospital yesterday, Saturday 21 October, after a short illness.”

Leach is survived by her husband, Colin Starkey.

Leach with Nigel Havers in The Charmer.
Leach with Nigel Havers in The Charmer. Photograph: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock

Her roles included the part of Aunt Fenny in the 1982 TV series The Jewel in the Crown, and as David Essex’s mother in the 1973 film That’ll Be the Day, for which she received a Bafta nomination for best supporting actress.

She was similarly nominated for her role as Mrs Honeychurch in A Room With a View in 1987. In 1982 she won an Olivier for best actress in a new play for 84 Charing Cross Road.

Leach had been a familiar face to UK television viewers since the 60s, appearing in several TV dramas including The Charmer (1987), which starred Nigel Havers and in which she played Joan Plumleigh-Bruce, and The Tomorrow People (1995).

More recently she made appearances in Midsomer Murders, Holby City, Heartbeat and Doctors.

Leach in Heartbeat.
Leach in Heartbeat. Photograph: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock