British actress Kate O’Mara, best known for her supporting role on the 1980s soap opera Dynasty, died on Sunday (March 30) at the age of 74, her agent Phil Belfield confirmed.
She passed in a nursing home in southern England after a short illness. Phil said of his client, “She was extraordinary, she had so much energy and vitality with a love for theatre and acting.”
He continued, “A shining star has gone out and Kate will be dearly missed by all who knew and have worked with her.”
The brunette beauty played scheming Cassandra “Caress” Morrell, sister of Joan Collins’ character Alexis Colby, on the long-running soap, but also had starring roles in the original run of Doctor Who and the BBC drama Howards’ Way.
She most recently appeared in a 2012 stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile.
But it was the actress’ personal life that oftentimes felt like a soap opera. The star had been married and divorced twice and had two sons, both of whom she lost.
Her younger son, Christopher Linde, was given up for adoption by Kate after the boy’s father left her. She couldn’t afford to feed him, already struggling to provide for her first son, Dickon Young.
“I grieved endlessly for the loss of the baby and gave all my love to my first-born son,” she wrote in her autobiography.
Her eldest, the result of a one-night stand, struggled with drug and alcohol abuse after suffering brain damage from an accident in 2009. He committed suicide in December 2012, his body found three weeks later.
But despite the tragedies she endured, Kate was always grateful for her fans, thanking them in her final tweet on March 17 for their “humbling and completely overwhelming” support.
Scroll down for Twitter tributes to the late star:
Tragic news about Kate O Mara , we had great fun on Dynasty when she played my sister Caress who Alexis insisted on calling CASSIE ! RIP
— Joan Collins (@Joancollinsdbe) March 30, 2014
Oh my goodness. Kate O’Mara is no longer with us. Sad sad news. A delightful, committed and talented lady and actress. We are the poorer
— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) March 30, 2014
Kate O’Mara god rest her soul! R.I.P!
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) March 30, 2014
So sad to hear of the passing of the wonderful Kate O’Mara. I was lucky to work with her on Horror of Frankenstein pic.twitter.com/u3ppwhjxYL
— Phil Campbell (@Filbell2) March 30, 2014
Kate O’Mara is no more. Only 74! I loved every encounter I had with her. Today doesn’t seem so sunny.
— graham norton (@grahnort) March 30, 2014