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Born in 1932, Whitelaw made her radio acting debut aged just 11 and made her first stage appearance in Bradford in 1950.And, of course, she also was Grace Poole in Franco Zeffirelli's Jane Eyre 1996.
She was well known for her role as Mrs Baylock in horror film The Omen and more recently appeared in the comedy Hot Fuzz. That film's director Edgar Wright tweeted that he was "very sad to hear that the magnificent Billie Whitelaw passed away" while adding he was "so very happy" to have worked with her.
Hot Fuzz was her last feature film and in a long tribute on his website Wright wrote that filming with her was an honour.
"She made me laugh a lot. She had a wicked sense of humour and could be devastatingly funny."
He admitted to frequently questioning her about her illustrious career and said "she was both very proud of her career and sometimes amusingly dismissive". (BBC News)