Beloved British comedian Victoria Wood passed away on Wednesday at the age of 62. She was battling cancer. She died peacefully at her north London home surrounded by her family, said her publicist as reported by BBC.
Wood debuted with “New Faces” in 1974, a talent show, but came into the limelight with her hit 1980s show “Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV,” where she proved her comedic talents. She was best known for her BBC sketch “Acorn Antiques” and the comedy “Dinnerladies.”
She frequently collaborated with actress Julie Walters of the“Harry Potter” fame. Their first collaboration was the 1981 comedy sketch “Wood and Walters” and they remained good friends. On the news of her demise, Walters said in a statement that she was “too heart sore to comment – the loss of her is incalculable.”
Tributes from other celebrities began pouring in. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling wrote on Twitter “Watch and weep. 62 is far too young. RIP Victoria Wood.” Comedian Ricky Gervais paid tribute to Wood saying “RIP the brilliant Victoria Wood. So innovative, funny and down to earth. This has not been a good year.”
Actor John Cleese tweeted, saying “Shocked by news of Victoria Wood. I worked with her last year and was reminded of just what a superlative performer she was. Only 62!” English stand-up comedian Jack Dee tweeted “I feel privileged to have known and worked with the great Victoria Wood. Unique and truly brilliant.” David Cameron said “Victoria Wood was a national treasure loved by millions. My thoughts are with her family.”
She entertained generations of the UK audiences, especially women, with her brilliant but grounded humour culled from everyday life. She was a close observer of life around her and social trends and satirised the fallacies of the social classes.
There are a few surprising facts about the English comedian that many do not know. Five such facts are mentioned below.
- Wood was not only a very successful stand-up comedian. She was also a singer, songwriter and taught herself to play the piano, as noted by The Guardian.
- She was a music composer. The theme music for “Dinnerladies” was composed and performed by her. She also composed music for the “Victoria Wood” TV shows and the TV movie “Mid Life Christmas” among others.
- During her live stand-up acts, she often sang her own compositions while playing the piano.
- Wood also was a screenwriter of most of the shows and TV movies she appeared in. She directed an episode of “Little Crackers” and the TV movie “That Day We Sang” starring Imelda Staunton.
- Wood earned an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997 and then a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2008. She also won four BAFTA awards and a special BAFTA tribute award in 2005.
It’s best to say that she was a complete artist in a sense and will be missed by all her fans and by the millions of female artists and women she inspired in the entertainment industry.