Friday, January 02, 2009

Actress flies back to America as elderly mum is taken ill

HOLLYWOOD actress Stefanie Powers has pulled out of her role in the musical panto Cinderella at The Mayflower after her elderly mother was taken ill.

The big screen veteran, most famous for her role in 80s crime drama Hart to Hart, flew back to the USA to be by her mother’s bedside following her performance as the Fairy Godmother on New Year’s Eve.

Her understudy Grace Warner joins the all star cast including Christopher Biggins, Matthew Kelly and Craig McLachlan until Ms Powers returns next week.

A spokesman for The Mayflower said: “Stefanie Powers’ 96-year-old mother was taken into hospital back in the United States this week in a critical state.

“Stefanie flew out to be at her bedside following the New Year’s Eve performance of Cinderella, and she is hoping to be back in the pantomime next week.

“Her understudy, Grace Warner, who previously played the baroness in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on tour, received a rapturous reception from the audience and left Christopher Biggins, Matthew Kelly and Craig McLachlan spellbound at her performance.

“Our sympathies are with Stefanie at this difficult time.”

Last month Ms Powers, 67, took time out of rehearsals to visit Marwell Zoo where two fans paid for her to sponsor an antelope.

The animal was named after Ms Powers, a keen conservationist, who set up the William Holden Wildlife Trust in memory of her husband.

Following Cinderella, which runs at The Mayflower until January 17, Ms Powers is staying in the UK, performing in the revival of Pack of Lies.

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