Grammy-nominated actress Jill Gascoine dies aged 83

Gascoine made history as the first woman to lead a British police drama in the 1980s

Cult actress of the 1980s Jill Gascoine has died at the age of 83, her family has confirmed.

Gascoine passed away after having suffered from Alzheimer’s. Her husband, actor Alfred Molina, called it a “cowardly disease”.

The actress most famously starred in ITV police drama The Gentle Touch as DI Maggie Forbes, a touchstone series which was the first British police drama in which a woman played the lead role.

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Gascoine’s son Adam, from her previous marriage to Bill Keith, released a statement on Facebook confirming Jill’s death.

“She suffered from Alzheimer’s for 10 years, so today was a thankful release,” the statement began. “The family is all well, and relieved that she’s not suffering any more.

“There will not be a memorial for a good while due to the current climate. The family will reach out once details have been arranged. We will likely hold 2 services – one in London for the UK friends and family, and one in Los Angeles for the US side.

“She was a wonderful human and a spirit of truth and absolute, unconditional love. There was no other. I am happy she’s moved on. Please raise a glass. Be kind and love deeply!”

Rachel Molina, Gascoine’s step-daughter, echoed the sentiment on Instagram, calling Gascoine “the best step mum I could have asked for,” and adding, “It’s a thankful release from what is a brutal disease”.

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Jill Gascoine also starred in King of the Wind and the Gentle Touch spin-off series C.A.T.S. Eyes, and became a novelist in the 1990s.

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