Nov 18 2011 By Lawrence Poole
ACCLAIMED actress and former Amersham resident Dulcie Gray has died five days before her 96th birthday.
For a number of years the star of stage and screen lived in one of the converted apartments in the Shardeloes estate with her actor husband Michael Denison, before his death in 1998.
The actress, who is perhaps best known for her five-year run in the BBC drama Howards' Way, moved to the elderly actors' home, Denville Hall, in Norwood, last December.
Born Dulcie Bailey (her mother's maiden name) in Kuala Lumpur in 1915, she moved to England to go to school in Oxfordshire.
Following a spell as a teacher back in Malaysia she returned home to enrole at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, where she met her future husband, marrying him in 1939.
She went on to become one of the stars of the British entertainment industry, starring in war-time productions; The Little Foxes, Brighton Rock and Dear Ruth.
When her husband returned from war service, she continued to star in numerous West End shows before dedicating large parts of the next three decades to writing murder novels; including Murder On the Stairs (1957), The Devil Wore Scarlet (1964), Died in the Red (1968), Deadly Lampshade (1971), Stage Door Fright (1977) and Dark Calypso (1979).
In the 1980s she was awarded a CBE along with her husband and she landed a starring role in Howards' Way as Kate Harvey.
She continued to work right up until 2000, appearing in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband on Broadway with her husband in 1996, her last TV appearance was in BBC's Doctors.
Former Amersham mayor Martin King said: "She was a fantastic person, I used to see her out and about a lot.
"She did a lot for charity with her husband, I remember them doing a fundraiser years ago to raise money for Amersham Museum - they were a great couple."
Amersham resident Anthony del Tufo said: "I didn't know her personally, but she was a super actress - it's a sad day."
She died at Denville Hall from bronchial pneumonia on November 15.