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Updated: 'Forsyte Saga', 'EastEnders' star Margaret Tyzack dies, aged 79

By and Daniel Kilkelly
Margaret Tyzack joins the cast of EastEnders as Lydia Simmonds
Margaret Tyzack has died at the age of 79.

The veteran actress of the stage and screen passed away peacefully surrounded by family at her home on Saturday. She was believed to be suffering from cancer, reports BBC News.

Tyzack's agent said in a statement that the actress would be remembered for "her outstanding contribution to the world of theatre, film and television and for the support and inspiration she gave to young actors".

"Maggie faced her illness with the strength, courage, dignity and even humour with which she lived her life," her agent added.

Tyzack made her name playing Winifred in the 1967 BBC adaptation of Victorian drama The Forsyte Saga and most recently had a short-lived stint in EastEnders as Lydia Simmonds, the grandmother of Albert Square regular Janine Malloy (Charlie Brooks).

Tyzack withdrew from the role in April due to her ill health and was replaced by Heather Chasen. The character passed away on-screen earlier this month.

Paying tribute to Tyzack, EastEnders' executive producer Bryan Kirkwood commented: "I'm so sad to hear the tragic news about Margaret. Even though we only worked together for a brief time, Margaret made a great impact with EastEnders. She was a fabulous actress and an inspiration to us all and she will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with her family."

Tyzack's filmography also includes parts in Stanley Kubrick classics 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, as well as Woody Allen's Match Point.

She was appointed OBE in 1970, and was made CBE in the 2010 New Year Honours List for services to drama.

Watch Margaret Tyzack in the opening to The Forsyte Saga below:

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