April 16 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Tributes from some of the country’s most well-loved actors have been paid at the funeral of a former film star who lived in Suffolk.
Around 200 people attended the funeral in St Margaret’s Church, Westhorpe, on Saturday of Jean Kent, 92, an actress who made her name in film, television and stage in the 1940s and 1950s.
Words written in tribute to Miss Kent were read out during the service, held in the village near Stowmarket, from Only Fools and Horses actor Sir David Jason.
He said: “I always admired Jean Kent because I grew up watching her in some great British movies.
But it wasn’t until I was fortunate enough to work with her in No Sex, Please – We’re British, that I realised why she was, in my estimation, so great.
“She had the humility of a true actress, as opposed to a star, which she truly was, and the memory of working with her on stage will remain with me forever, along with the lovely company she shared with Jusuf (her husband0 on so many occasions. I am so pleased that I knew her and shared a part of her successful life.”
Miss Kent spent two years on the West End stage with Sir Jason during her more than 70-year career in which she acted alongside Hollywood greats such as Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier.
Her final stage appearance at the age of 74 was in a play at Chichester Festival Theatre opposite Penelope Keith, star of BBC sitcom The Good Life and president of the Actors’ Benevolent Fund.
She said: “I look back with great affection on my time in Chichester with Jean and our many laughs in the dressing room.
“She had a marvellous career. I send thanks from the Actors’ Benevolent Fund for her support during her life of the charity”.
Miss Kent met Jusuf Ramart on the set of 1946 film Caravan. They later married and spent 43 years together before he died in 1989.
In 1975, This is Your Life looked back at her cinematic career in which she starred in some of the Gainsborough melodramas.
An inquest into her death has been opened and adjourned to allow an investigation to continue. Miss Kent was found collapsed at her home in Westhorpe, where she was had lived for 30 years, on November 28.
She died two days later in hospital. Officers have said they believe there are no suspicious circumstances.