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Actress Gayle Hunnicutt has died

Gayle Hunnicutt, the Texas-born actress who played English aristocrat Vanessa Beaumont in Dallas, has died at the age of 80.

Hunnicutt died of an unspecified illness on Aug. 31 at a London hospital, according to The Washington Post. Her ex-husband, journalist Simon Jenkins, confirmed her death to the outlet.

Hunnicutt is reportedly survived by her two sons Edward and Band of Brothers actor Nolan, as well as five grandchildren; Poppy, Theo, Oscar, Dash and Nia. The cause of her death has not yet been revealed.

Along with starring opposite Larry Hagman for the final three seasons of Dallas, her other credits include The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Fall of Eagles, The Golden Bowl and The Return of the Saint.

Famed as a beauty in her own right, Hunnicutt once said she’d most like to look like Audrey Hepburn, according to The Guardian. She met her first husband David Hemmings at a party thrown by Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford. They married in 1968 and went on to welcome a son called Nolan.

The pair divorced in 1974 and in 1978, Hunnicutt married journalist and editor Sir Simon Jenkins with whom she had Edward. During her marriage to Jenkins, Hunnicutt became a firm fixture on the British social scene alongside her acting work. Jenkins and Hunnicutt lived in London’s Primrose Hill, before divorcing in 2000. Her sale of the house they had lived in for three decades became an episode of a 2012 reality show, Selling London.

Hunnicutt grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, the only child of her father Sam, who served in the South Pacific during the Second World War, and her mother Virginia. Although she wanted to be an actress from the age of five, Gayle’s parents focussed on academic achievement and she won a scholarship to the University of California in Los Angeles to study English Literature and Theatre. It was while there that she was spotted by a Warner Brothers agent while taking part in a stage production. She made her debut on the television naval comedy Mister Roberts at the age of 23 in 1966.

Outside of film, Hunnicutt has a great stage presence, too. The Life and Loves of Edith Wharton was a personal two-hander project of hers that toured for many years. She followed that role with another appearance in a two-hander, The Two Marys. Her last performance was in 1999 when she appeared on an episode of CI5: The New Professionals.

Hunnicutt was also an author. Having written a book called Health and Beauty in Motherhood in 1984, two decades later she published Dearest Virginia, a moving collection of her father’s love letters written while he was serving in the South Pacific.

In other news – Charlie Puth and Brooke Sansone have reportedly engaged

The “We Don’t Talk Anymore” singer is set to tie the knot with Brooke Sansone, they announced on Instagram Sept. 7.

“I flew to New York to ask my best friend to marry me, and she said yes,” he wrote, referencing his song lyrics. “I am the happiest, best version of myself and it is all because of you Brookie. I love you endlessly forever and ever and ever.” Read More

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