'The loss is incalculable': Julie Walters mourns the death of her comedy partner Victoria Wood who died aged 62 at her London home surrounded by family following short battle with cancer
- Much-loved British comedian and writer died at her north London home after short but brave battle with cancer
- Her heartbroken family said the actress died 'peacefully' surrounded by her loved ones including her children
- Tributes have been paid to her from around the country, with fellow stars calling her a 'humble genius'
- Wood's brother said her death 'has robbed us of one of the brightest talents of our generation'
- Her long-time comedy partner Julie Walters said: 'Too heart sore to comment. The loss of her is incalculable
Actress Julie Walters has paid tribute to her long term comedy partner Victoria Wood, who died today aged 62 following a short battle with cancer.
The much-loved British comedian, singer and actress, died at her north London home surrounded by her family. Wood, an award-winning sketch writer, had written and starred in dozens of plays, films and sitcoms and was particularly famed for her TV sketch shows.
Her long-time comedy partner Walters said this afternoon: 'Too heart sore to comment. The loss of her is incalculable.'
Wood's family posted on her Twitter account: 'Thank you for your love and support at this very hard time. We leave you with these words from Victoria. X'
The post was followed by the quote: 'Life's not fair is it? Some of us drink champagne in the fast lane, and some of us eat our sandwiches by the loose chippings on the A597.'
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Victoria Wood (pictured left on Dinnerladies and right in 2015) has died at the age of 62 after a short battle with cancer, her publicist said
In one of her best-loved roles, she worked with Julie Walters and Celia Imrie in Acorn Antiques in her show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV
Her family posted this poignant message on her Twitter feed, followed by one their favourites of her many funny quotes
Wood's brother Chris Foote Wood, 75, said: 'It wasn't just that Victoria was hugely talented in so many different fields, she was also outstanding in her tremendous, single-minded drive and determination to pursue her chosen career.
'Success did not come easily to Victoria, and it was only after years of struggle that she achieved her well-deserved national acclaim. I am hugely proud of what my sister has done so successfully in different fields of entertainment.
'It has been a privilege to have her as a sister, and particularly to have been able to observe at first hand how she developed her career from the earliest beginnings.
'Victoria's two children, my niece Grace and nephew Henry will be absolutely devastated to lose their mother at such a relatively young age.'
He also praised his sister's determination to give her two children as 'normal an upbringing as possible' despite her fame. His tribute came after a statement from her publicist Neil Reading, which stated: 'Victoria Wood has sadly passed away, after a short but brave battle with cancer.
'The multi BAFTA award-winning writer, director, actor and comedian died peacefully at her North London home with family this morning. She was 62. The family ask for privacy at this very sad time.'
The writer and comic is pictured left at the Baftas in 2007. She recently took part inThe Great Comic Relief Bake Off last year
Wood, pictured with her famous partner Julie Walters one of her long-term collaborators and close friends
Wood started her career in 1974 by winning the talent show New Faces aged 20, before going on to become one of Britain's most popular stand-up comics.
Tributes have poured in from the showbusiness and comedy world. Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC,said: 'Victoria Wood was a woman with a stunning array of talents - a comedian, singer, songwriter, actress and director.
'People identified with her warmth and great charm. She brought people from all walks of life together and made them laugh and cry. She will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with her friends and family.'
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: 'Victoria Wood was a national treasure loved by millions. My thoughts are with her family.'
Rory Bremner wrote: 'No. NO. This is too much. Now lovely, warm, funny, brilliantly talented Victoria Wood has gone. Words, songs, plays, she wrote the lot. So sad.'
Jack Dee tweeted: 'I feel privileged to have known and worked with the great Victoria Wood. Unique and truly brilliant.'
Novelist JK Rowling posted a video of Wood performing Reincarnation Song, writing: 'Watch and weep. 62 is far too young. RIP Victoria Wood.'
In 1997, she was appointed OBE and picked up the accolade at Buckingham Palace with her then husband Geoffrey Durham and her two children (left). Her brother Chris Foote Wood (right) today praised the way she brought up her children
Scores of stars and celebrities have gone on Twitter to pay tribute to the actress and comedy who was loved up and down the country
Ricky Gervais wrote: 'RIP the brilliant Victoria Wood. So innovative, funny and down to earth. This has not been a good year.'
Fawlty Towers actor John Cleese said he was shocked by the news, tweeting: 'I worked with her last year and was reminded of just what a superlative performer she was. Only 62!'
Journalist Caitlin Moran described the early influence Wood had on her, saying: 'Seeing Victoria Wood on TV - working class, bookish, silly, clever, doing stand-up, singing, acting - made me think 'Girls can do this'.'
In 2004, she took aim at the dieting industry with a documentary called Victoria Wood's Big Fat Documentary. She later said: 'I'm very anti the dieting industry because they exploit people's insecurities and they don't deliver what they promise.'
She said of herself: 'I was on diet pills when I was 12 or 13 then I used to buy those terrible things which looked like custard creams which you were supposed to have for your lunch.'
She underwent therapy in her forties and discovered her reasons for overeating. She said in 2004: 'I ate to blot out the moment. When you're eating, you're tranquilised. You're in a little bubble of chewing.'
Wood started her career in 1974 by winning the talent show New Faces (pictured), before going on to become one of Britain's most popular stand-up comics
Wood was best known for the double acts with Julie Walters, who she first met at Manchester University
TV presenter Esther Rantzen said today that she admired her at the start of her career and has done ever since.
'She once said about me 'I don't know why they go on about her teeth - have you seen her dresses?', which I thought was quite fair,' Rantzen said.
'She did a one-woman show for Childline where I felt hugely privileged to interview her and she told the story of her life with such wit. She just held us all enchanted for a whole evening,' Rantzen recalled.
'I think she is one of our greatest comic writers and performers, but she could also deal with serious issue as well, and she's a huge loss.'
Wood's long-term manager and friend, Phil McIntyre, said: 'Victoria has been a part of our lives as a friend, devoted mother and national treasure for 30 years.
'She was always modest, generous and undemanding. A super person and a super and unique talent. There will be an unfillable void left on all levels and we will miss her deeply.'
Wood receiving her CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2008. Tributes to her have been led by the Prime Minister
Wood died at her home in North London with her ex-husband and family. Her brother said her two children are 'devastated'
ACTRESS, COMEDIAN, SINGER, DIRECTOR AND WRITER: VICTORIA WOOD WAS THE STAR WHO DID IT ALL
Victoria Wood, 62, was born in Prestwich, Lancashire, and was perhaps best known for her comedy series Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV.
She grew up in a remote bungalow in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, where she was one of four children.
She said her mother, Nellie, was quite withdrawn and had an eating problem but insists she didn't have a miserable childhood despite feeling 'neglected'.
She started playing the piano at the age of seven and studied drama at the University of Birmingham after appearing in plays in Rochdale as a teenager.
FILE - In this file photo taken in London on Sunday 20 May, 2007, British comedienne Victoria Wood holds her two BAFTA awards, one for Best Actress and one for Best Single Drama both received for Housewife 49. British comedian Victoria Wood, whose sketch shows and sitcoms blended playfulness and sharp social observation, has died aged 62 it was announced Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/ Max Nash, File)
Wood appeared on BBC One's That's Life! in 1976 and got her showbusiness break as a winner on New Faces.
She was also known for her role in sitcom Dinnerladies, along with her TV special Victoria Wood With All The Trimmings.
In 2006, she won two Bafta awards for acting and writing for her drama Housewife, 49, an adaptation of the diaries of Nella Last.
Wood met her husband Geoffrey Durham in 1976 shortly after she won New Faces, when they were both appearing at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester.
She later said of him: 'It was just one of those things when you click. He was encouraging because comedy's a very lonely thing to do without someone in your corner. I don't think it would have worked as well with him. We just did everything together.'
Durham quit acting and became a magician called the Great Soprendo while Wood starting writing. Wood fiercely maintained her privacy and that of her children, even originally refusing to release the name of her son when he was born.
The couple had two children, Grace and Henry, but separated after 22 years in 2002.
Victoria Wood (pictured left) with fellow actress Emma Thompson at the Variety Club awards in 1988
She suffered from depression after the break-up, saying in an interview: 'I take a lot of responsibility. I bear the consequences. I don't feel hard done by. I've felt very guilty about my part in it. I felt a failure, completely. That's quite hard to live with.'
She then wrote the Acorn Antiques musical, first performed the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 2005, to help her get over the pain after her divorce.
Wood and Julie Walters first appeared on stage together in 1978 in a London production of In At The Death and their celebrated comedy Wood And Walters followed in 1981.
They most recently appeared together in December 2009 in Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas, which featured sketches including Mid Life Olympics 2009 and period drama spoof Lark Pies to Cranchesterford.
Wood received many awards in her long career. She won two other Baftas earlier in her career, both for best light entertainment performance. The first was for Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV in 1986 and An Audience With Victoria Wood in 1989.
Victoria Wood As Seen On TV also won the Bafta for best entertainment programme in 1986, 1987 and 1988, while An Audience With Victoria Wood won the same award in 1989. She received a special Bafta tribute award in 2005.
Wood's live comedy was often interspersed with her own compositions and she frequently played the piano. She also composed and performed the theme music for Dinnerladies.
In 1997, she was appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, before being appointed CBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours.
Wood attended Quaker meetings and was a vegetarian. She once said: 'I'm all for killing animals and turning them into handbags. I just don't want to have to eat them.'
Wood was also showered with accolades for her live comedy as well as her TV work, and her tours broke records.
Victoria Wood with long-time comedy partner Julie Walters. They most recently appeared together in December 2009 in Victoria Wood's Mid Life Christmas, which featured sketches including Mid Life Olympics 2009 and period drama spoof Lark Pies to Cranchesterford
In 1990 she performed a 60-date sell-out season at the Strand Theatre in London in Victoria Wood Up West before a six-week sell-out tour, earning her a Best Comedy Performer award at the British Comedy Awards.
She performed a record-breaking 15 nights at the Royal Albert Hall in 1993 as part of a six-month tour of the country.
In May 2001 she took on her first UK tour since 1997 and was awarded Best Live Stand Up at the British Comedy Awards.
Wood's live comedy was often interspersed with her own compositions and she frequently played the piano.
She also composed and performed the theme music for Dinnerladies.
Wood was a philanthropist and in 1990 she visited Ethiopia to make a documentary for Comic Relief. She also travelled to Zimbabwe for the charity in 1998, staying with a family of farmers for a documentary shown on Red Nose Day.
Wood was a philanthropist and in 1990 she visited Ethiopia to make a documentary for Comic Relief. She also travelled to Zimbabwe for the charity in 1998 Pictured: Wood signals the beginning of the SunWalk, a pirate themed charity walk in London
She also turned her hand to making her own documentaries, including Victoria's Empire, about the vestiges of the British Empire, Victoria Wood's Big Fat Documentary, about the diet industry, and Victoria Wood - Moonwalking, a programme she wrote, presented and executive produced about 15,000 women walking the distance of a marathon through the night to raise money for breast cancer.
Wood also wrote extensively for the theatre, starting in 1978 with her first play Talent. The show premiered at the Crucible Theatre Studio in Sheffield and was later adapted for TV, airing in 1979 and starring Wood and Walters.
Her second play Good Fun opened in 1980 at the same theatre.
Wood later penned a musical, Acorn Antiques, which enjoyed a sell-out run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2005. A documentary about the making of the show was broadcast the same year before the show toured the UK in 2006 and 2007.
In 2009 she revisited her first effort when she directed a new version of Talent at the Old Laundry in Windermere before it transferred to the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.
'THIS HAS NOT BEEN A GOOD YEAR': RICKY GERVAIS MOURNS CHERISHED CULTURAL ICONS AS 'BRILLIANT' VICTORIA WOOD BECOMES LATEST CELEBRITY TO DIE IN 2016
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