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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 11:51 GMT
Actress Patricia Roc dies aged 88
Former film actress Patricia Roc, one of Britain's top 1940s box office stars, has died aged 88.

The London-born actress, who was suffering from kidney failure, died in Locarno, Switzerland.

Roc co-starred with Sir Michael Redgrave and Sir John Mills in films such as Millions Like Us, The Wicked Lady, The Brothers and Canyon Passage.

The late Sir Noel Coward described her as "a phenomenon, an unspoiled movie star who can act".

'Goddess of the Odeons'

Born Madame Felicia Reif, she made her name in costume dramas and 1947's When the Bough Breaks, in which she played an unmarried mother.

For 10 consecutive years from 1943, Roc was one of Britain's top 10 box office stars as her films became international hits.

She was described by the head of her studio, Lord Rank, as "the archetypal British beauty, the goddess of the Odeons".

Roc moved to Paris after her second marriage in 1949 but returned to make her last three films in England in the late 1950s.

'Unpretentious'

The Canyon Passage was her only Hollywood film. She retired from acting in 1963 before emigrating to Switzerland.

Actress Jean Kent, 82, appeared with Roc in four films and knew her for 60 years.

She said: "I am so very sad. She came to my wedding in 1945, and we were always the very best of friends.

"She was a great star and a most beautiful woman, completely unpretentious and full of fun. I shall miss her very much indeed."


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