Josephine Melville, ‘EastEnders’ Actress, Dies at 61 Backstage After Play Efficiency

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Josephine Melville, a revered British actor and director, collapsed and died backstage after showing in a manufacturing of 9 Night time in Nottingham. She was 61.

Melville died Thursday night time on the Nottingham Playhouse after showing as Aunt Maggie, the venue mentioned in a press release. She acquired fast help from first support employees and a member of the viewers earlier than paramedics arrived, however she died on the scene. No trigger was instantly launched.

The play is a co-production between Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse.

“The whole firm, and employees at each theatres are in a state of shock. Josephine was a very fantastic and well-loved particular person, a revered and deeply revered performer, director, producer, archivist and author, and an incredible Auntie Maggie in 9 Night time,” the assertion mentioned.

All performances of the play had been canceled after Melville’s dying.

On the long-running British cleaning soap EastEnders, Melville performed Tessa Parker, a school buddy of Kelvin Carpenter and Harry Reynolds, in 1986. She appeared for eight episodes. She reappeared within the BBC cleaning soap in 2005 because the character Ellie Wright.

Born in Essex, her different appearing credit embrace roles in The Invoice, Prime Suspect and Casualty. Final 12 months, Melville was a part of Know Your Roots, a challenge that held workshops and recorded interviews throughout Essex in celebration of and to protect the historical past of Black ladies’s hair. She produced and directed final 12 months’s brief thriller Help.

“We ship our love and condolences to Jo’s household and pals. On a deeply tragic and intensely tough night we need to pay tribute to the corporate of 9 Night time and to the entire Nottingham Playhouse workforce who managed the scenario with empathy and professionalism,” mentioned Stephanie Sirr, chief govt of Nottingham Playhouse.

The Bridgerton actor Adjoa Andoh paid tribute on Twitter after information of Melville’s dying, writing: “Ach … I’m so shocked. An exquisite actress. Superb comedian timing. A part of a neighborhood of artists who understood the facility of black tales. All blessings & condolences to the household. Full of sunshine, relaxation in your energy Jo.”

Josephine Melville, ‘EastEnders’ Actress, Dies at 61 Backstage After Play Efficiency



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