Haydn Gwynne nous a quittés RIP

Haydn Gwynne










Haydn Gwynne (5 October 1957 – 20 October 2023) was an English actress. She was nominated for the 1992 BAFTA TV Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance for the comedy series Drop the Dead Donkey (1990–1991), and won the 2009 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical. She was also a four-time Olivier Award nominee. Her other television roles included Peak Practice (1999–2000), Merseybeat (2001–2002), and playing Camilla in The Windsors (2016–2023).


Gwynne became an actress in her mid-twenties. In her first prominent television role she played feminist lecturer Dr Robyn Penrose in the BBC television mini-series dramatisation of David Lodge‘s Nice Work in 1989.[1]

Her first high-profile comedy role was as Alex Pates in Drop the Dead Donkey in 1990. She then appeared in the 1991 Children’s ITV science-fiction series Time Riders and later became a regular in Peak Practice; first appearing at the start of series 7 (episode 1) in 1999 as Dr Joanna Graham. The character of Dr Graham was written out of the show at the end of series 9 (episode 13) when she was fatally shot whilst intervening in a conflict between a man and his daughter. After Peak Practice, Gwynne went on to star in Merseybeat in 2001.

In 2002, she starred in the television drama for the BBC The Secret playing the character of Emma Faraday.

Her theatre work included regional and London-based appearances, from the OctagonBolton in Hedda Gabler, to Richard Cheshire’s Way of the World appearing in West End productions of Ziegfeld as Billie Burke (1988),[2] City of Angels and Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award.[3] She reprised her role as Mrs Wilkinson in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot, which opened at the Imperial Theatre on 13 November 2008.[4] Gwynne was awarded the Outer Critics Circle Award, Theatre World Award, and Drama Desk Award for her performance in Billy Elliot. She was also nominated for a 2009 Tony Award, Featured Actress in a Musical.[5]

Gwynne also performed in numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her later television appearances were usually in shorter dramas, such as the role of Julius Caesar‘s wife, Calpurnia, in the TV series Rome. She also appeared in the first Christmas special episode of Midsomer Murders “Ghosts of Christmas Past” (2004) as Jennifer Carter.

Gwynne guest-starred in an episode of Lewis in the first of a new series (2008). She appeared in the first episode of series 2, “And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea”, playing the character of Sandra Walters.[6][7] She appeared in the 2011 film Hunky Dory.[8]

Gwynne performed at the Almeida Theatre in Islington in a performance of Becky Shaw[9] which ran from 20 January until 5 March 2011. She also appeared in a second episode of the Midsomer Murders series 14, called “Dark Secrets” as Maggie Viviani which aired in Britain in 2011.[10][11] Gwynne starred in the Shakespeare play Richard III alongside Kevin Spacey at The Old Vic in London during summer 2011 as part of the Bridge Project.[12]

In October and November 2012, Gwynne toured in the play Duet for One.[13] In 2013, she appeared as Margaret Thatcher in the premiere of the stage play The Audience by Peter Morgan.[14]

In 2014, she featured in an episode of Ripper Street as a woman living her life as a man to escape what she felt were the horrors of being a woman. In 2015 she starred alongside Tamsin Greig in the new musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, based on the Pedro Almodovar film, at The Playhouse in London.[15]

In January 2014, she appeared in the episode “Fraternity” of the BBC forensic science series Silent Witness,[16] followed by appearances in another two BBC series in February: the British sitcom Uncle and the crime comedy-drama Death in Paradise (Series 3, Episode 5).[17] In 2015, she appeared in the BBC Father Brown episode, “The Last Man”.

In 2016, she starred as Mrs Peacham in Simon Stephens‘ adaptation of Bertolt Brecht‘s and Kurt Weill‘s Threepenny Opera, alongside Rory Kinnear as MacheathNick Holder as Mr Peacham, Rosalie Craig as Polly Peacham and Sharon Small as Jenny Diver at the National Theatre in London. In the same year, she played Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in the Channel Four sitcom The Windsors, which is based around the British royal family.[18] In October 2021, Gwynne took over the role of Evangeline Harcourt for the final weeks of the London revival of Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre.[19] In 2022, she played Susan Hussey in the fifth series of The Crown, also written by Peter Morgan.

In 2023, she starred as Pam Lee, a version of the real life judge Prue Leith, in The Great British Bake Off Musical.[20] In 2022, Gwynne performed “The Ladies Who Lunch” in a gala tribute to Stephen Sondheim, Old Friends.[21] She was forced to withdraw from the subsequent run of the show, a few days before its opening, in September 2023. At that stage, her withdrawal was attributed to “sudden personal circumstances”.[22]

Personal life and death[edit]

Born on 5 October 1957[citation needed] in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex to father Guy Thomas Hayden-Gwynne, she played county level tennis before studying sociology at the University of Nottingham,[3] and was fluent in French and Italian. She then took a five-year lectureship in Italy at the University of Rome La Sapienza, where she taught English as a foreign language.[23] Gwynne lived in London with her two sons.[23]

Gwynne undertook voluntary work for the charity Sightsavers International, a group committed to combating blindness in developing countries. In August 2014, Gwynne was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September’s referendum on that issue.[24]

Haydn Gwynne died on 20 October 2023, at the age of 66, following a cancer diagnosis one month earlier.[25][26][27][21]

Awards and nominations[edit]


Year Award Award Work Result
1992 British Academy Television Award[28] Best Light Entertainment Performance Drop the Dead Donkey Nominated


Year Award Category Work Result
1994 Laurence Olivier Award[29] Best Actress in a Musical City of Angels Nominated
2006 Laurence Olivier Award[30] Best Actress in a Musical Billy Elliot the Musical Nominated
2009 Tony Award[31] Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama Desk Award[32] Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award[33] Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Won
Theatre World Award[34] Honoree
2015 Laurence Olivier Award[35] Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Nominated
2017 Laurence Olivier Award[36] Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical The Threepenny Opera Nominated


  1. ^ ” ‘Nice Work’ Listing” genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 April 2015
  2. ^ ” ‘Ziegfeld’ Credits” ovrtur.com. Retrieved 20 April 2015
  3. Jump up to:a b Shoard, Catherine (11 April 2005), “All-singing, all-dancing, all-smoking”The Daily Telegraph
  4. ^ “‘Billy Elliot’ announces its New York cast”. Associated Press. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2008.[dead link]
  5. ^ “Haydn Gwynne Credits” playbillvault.com. Retrieved 19 April 2015
  6. ^ ” ‘Lewis. Moonbeams’ Cast and Crew” pbs.org. Retrieved 20 April 2015
  7. ^ ” ‘And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea’ Listing” tv.com. Retrieved 20 April 2015
  8. ^ ” 55th BFI London Film Festival: ‘Hunky Dory'” soundonsight.org, 26 October 2011
  9. ^ Becky Shaw Archived 12 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Cumming, Ed. ” ‘Midsomer Murders’, ITV1, preview” The Telegraph, 29 March 2011
  11. ^ ” ‘Dark Secrets'” midsomermurders.org. Retrieved 20 April 2015
  12. ^ Michael Billington “Richard III – review, The Old Vic”The Guardian, 29 June 2011
  13. ^ Paul Vale “Duet For One”The Stage, 3 October 2012
  14. ^ Taylor, Paul. “Review: ‘The Audience’, Gielgud Theatre, London” The Independent, 6 March 2013
  15. ^ Billington, Michael. ” ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ review – West End musical is screwball fun” The Guardian, 12 January 2015
  16. ^ “Fraternity” BBC. Retrieved 19 April 2015
  17. ^ ” Death in Paradise’ “ BBC. Retrieved 19 April 2015
  18. ^ “Channel 4 comedy The Windsors to see the funny side of Kate, Wills and the British monarchy”Radio Times. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  19. ^ Cristi, A. A. (23 September 2021). “Rachel York and Haydn Gwynne to Join ANYTHING GOES West End; Performances Added”Playbill. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  20. ^ Davis, Clive (24 June 2023). “The Great British Bake off Musical review — a fluffy show that’s risen beautifully”.
  21. Jump up to:a b “Haydn Gwynne has died aged 66”. 20 October 2023. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  22. ^ Writer, Staff (7 September 2023). “Opening of Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends Delayed”Theatre Weekly. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  23. Jump up to:a b Woods, Judith. “I’m not sure there was much demand for tall ingénues with long noses'” The Telegraph, 12 January 2015
  24. ^ “Celebrities’ open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics”The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  25. ^ “Actress Haydn Gwynne dies aged 66”BBC News. 20 October 2023. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  26. ^ “Actress Haydn Gwynne dies aged 66”York Press. 20 October 2023.
  27. ^ Wiegand, Chris; editor, Chris Wiegand Stage (20 October 2023). “Haydn Gwynne, star of stage and screen, dies aged 66”The GuardianISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 October 2023. {{cite news}}|last2= has generic name (help)
  28. ^ “Television in 1992 | BAFTA Awards”awards.bafta.org. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  29. ^ “Olivier Winners 1994”Olivier Awards. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  30. ^ “Olivier Winners 2006”Olivier Awards. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  31. ^ Variety Staff (8 June 2009). “2009 Tony Awards winners list”Variety. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  32. ^ Cox, Gordon (18 May 2009). “‘Billy’ dominates Drama Desk Awards”Variety. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  33. ^ “Haydn Gwynne”Playbill. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  34. ^ “Theatre World Awards”www.theatreworldawards.org. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  35. ^ “Olivier Winners 2015”Olivier Awards. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  36. ^ “Olivier Winners 2017”Olivier Awards. Retrieved 19 February 2021.

External links[edit]



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