A regular in recent years as a co-host of daytime chat show Loose Women, Bellingham became a household name in the United Kingdom during the 1980s as the mother in the popular series of Oxo adverts, a role she was to play for some sixteen years between 1983 and 1999. Before her "gravy fame", the actress had appeared in a number of series, including General Hospital, Z Cars, and Angels. Later, she took on the role of James Herriot's wife Helen in the revived series All Creatures Great And Small, and was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1993.
For Doctor Who fans, she became a regular in 1986 series The Trial Of A Time Lord playing the Inquisitor, the Doctor's 'judge' as he went on trial once again for his (mis)adventures - a role she later returned to for several audio adventures for Big Finish, with the character now having the name Darkel.
In 2007 she appeared on the BBC's celebrity talent show Strictly Come Dancing, though she only managed to reach the fourth week of the show. Several tours in the play Calendar Girls followed from 2008, but plans to appear in A Passionate Woman in 2013 were cancelled owing to the diagnosis of her illness. She also presented her own cookery series My Tasty Travels, and most recently Country House Sunday.
Earlier this month she appeared on several daytime programmes to announce that her cancer was terminal and she believed she only had months to live, and made the brave decision to cease chemotherapy in order to "die gracefully", hoping to spend a last, comfortable Christmas with her family. Sadly she died yesterday.
Her autobiography, Lost and Found, was published in 2010, and her book on her illness, There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You was published this month.
Lynda Bellingham, 31st May 1948 - 19th October 2014