Born: July 16, 1949; Died: July 21, 2012.
Angharad Rees, who has died aged 63 after suffering from pancreatic cancer, was a Welsh actress best known for playing the servant girl Demelza in the hugely popular 1970s BBC drama Poldark.
Based on the Poldark novels by Winston Graham, the series, which was broadcast between 1975 and 1977, attracted up to 15 million viewers every Sunday evening and in Cornwall, where it was set, the series was so popular churches had to reschedule their services.
Demelza eventually marries Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis), a dashing young army captain who returns from the American Revolution to find his family estate in ruins, his mines for sale and the love of his life, Elizabeth (Jill Townsend), betrothed to his cousin.
The 29-episode drama featured a host of twists and sub-plots, with Demelza becoming pregnant by Poldark, who also finds himself embroiled in a feud with his neighbour, the wicked George Warleggan, played by the late Ralph Bates.
The spirited way in which she tackled the part, along with her great beauty and the broad West Country accent she adopted for the role, made Rees one of Britain's best-known actresses by the late 1970s.
Born in London but raised in Cardiff, she was the daughter of Linford Rees, who was at the time the NHS's regional psychiatrist in Wales, and his wife Catherine.
When she was five the family moved back to London and she was educated at Commonweal Lodge, an independent girls' day school in Purley. She struggled with dyslexia and eventually trained at the Rose Bruford Training College for Speech and Drama in Sidcup.
In 1969 she played the daughter of the crooked financier Augustus Melmotte (Colin Blakely) in the BBC's version of The Way We live Now. Two years later she starred as the vulnerable Anna in the Hammer horror film Hands of the Ripper. In 1972 she was a luminous Gossamer Benyon in the Richard Burton film version of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood.
In 1973 she married the suavely handsome and equally blond Christopher Cazenove, another actor who excelled in the television costume dramas of the 1970s. Their son, Linford, was born in 1974, followed by Rhys in 1976.
Rees was praised for her Celia, opposite Helen Mirren's plucky Rosalind, in the BBC's As You Like It (1978) and was a memorable Perdita in the 1981 Young Vic production of A Winter's Tale.
In the mid-1980s she moved with her family to Los Angeles when her husband was cast in the role of Ben Carrington in Dynasty but in 1994 they divorced, although they remained close. Their son Linford was killed in a car crash in 1999 and beset by grief she concentrated on the jewellery design company that she had founded in Knightsbridge.
She was appointed CBE in 2004 and was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
In 2005 she married David McAlpine, a member of the McAlpine construction dynasty. She is survived by him and Rhys, her son from her first marriage. Cazenove died in 2010.
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