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Privates on Parade actress Sophiya Haque dies aged 41

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Actress Sophiya Haque, who had been starring in Michael Grandage's production of Privates on Parade, died last night (16 January 2013) from cancer.

Haque, who was 41, had a varied career, spending several years in India as a presenter and appearing in Bollywood films before moving back to the UK to appear in shows such as Bombay Dreams and The Far Pavillions.

Sophiya Haque in rehearsal with Simon Russell Beale

Born in Portsmouth in 1971, Haque trained at The Arts Educational School, before getting a record deal with Warner Bros in 1988 with her band Akasa. She spent 7 years working for MTV Asia, earning herself the title of 'First Lady' of music television, with her daily shows reaching 53 countries.

Since returning to the UK in 2002, Haque's TV credits include Coronation Street, and stage credits include Wah Wah Girls, Britain's Got Bhangra and The Vagina Monologues.

Haque was diagnosed with cancer several weeks ago, and partner David White confirmed that she died suddenly but peacefully in her sleep last night. Her last performance in Privates on Parade was shortly before Christmas.

Agent Stuart Piper, managing director of Cole Kitchenn, said: "Sophiya was one of the most inspirational people I ever met. She was the kind of person you always want to spend time with: full of light, warmth, compassion, care and with an infectiously wicked sense of humour and my co-agent Olivier Thomson and I loved every minute of working with her. On stage, it was like you were watching her in close up even if you were sat at the back of the stalls such was her star presence and charisma. I am so desperately sad that she has been lost to the world at such a tragically young age, but feel blessed to have known her"

Michael Grandage and executive producer James Bierman added: “We are devastated by Sophiya’s sudden passing. She was a true force of nature and her glorious performance as Sylvia is one that will be remembered with great joy. A spirited lady, she lived life to the full, and her presence in the theatre will be sorely missed. The company would like to dedicate the remaining performances to her memory.”


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