Much-loved British comedian, singer and writer, Victoria Wood has died after a “short but brave” fight with cancer at the age of 62.
The comic is reported to have “died peacefully at her north London home with family”, her publicist confirmed earlier today, Wednesday 20 April 2016. In addition, a request for privacy was cited in the same statement.
Wood’s older brother Chris said her death had “robbed us of one of the brightest talents of our generation”.
Born in Prestwich, Lancashire, Victoria started her career in 1974 when she won the ATV talent show New Faces. She was best known in the 1980s for her BBC sketch Acorn Antiques and comedy Dinnerladies – which she wrote and starred in.
She won five Baftas including two for her one-off ITV drama Housewife 49.
Wood is often believed to have been one of the greatest contributors to the success of other contemporary female comics. Commentators have cited that she paved the way for the likes of Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican – the latter of which paid tribute today, tweeting: “So incredibly sad to hear that Victoria Wood has died. A true comedy icon”.
Before her death, Wood openly spoke about her battle with sexism in the showbiz world.
She said: “In my 20s I was going round seeing agents who were patronising because I was fat and a girl, which was a double whammy”.
‘A true comedy icon’
UK’s top comedians have been tweeting in honour of Wood.
“Another hero and comedy legend gone. I am shocked. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Victoria for your laughs and inspiration. RIP”, Miranda Hart wrote.
Jack Dee tweeted: “I feel privileged to have known and worked with the great Victoria Wood. Unique and truly brilliant”.
Ricky Gervais said: “RIP the brilliant Victoria Wood. So innovative, funny and down to earth. This has not been a good year”.
John Cleese then posted: “Shocked by news of Victoria Wood. I worked with her last year and was reminded of just what a superlative performer she was. Only 62!”
Sarah Millican also tweeted her sadness: “So incredibly sad to hear that Victoria Wood has died. A true comedy icon”.
David Walliams added: “I have such happy memories watching #VictoriaWood’s TV shows with my mum, dad & sister. She was a humble genius”.
Wood married magician Geoffrey Durham, known as the Great Soprendo in 1980 – they separated in 2002. She leaves behind two children Grace and Henry.