Monday, April 20, 2009

TRIBUTES TO TV ACTRESS FOUND DEAD

Stephanie Parker
Stephanie Parker had been with the show since she was 15

Tributes have been paid to a young actress from the BBC Wales drama series Belonging after she was found hanged.

The body of Stephanie Parker, 22, who played Stacey Weaver in the programme, was found on open ground near Pontypridd early on Saturday morning.

Ms Parker, who had been with the show since the age of 15, also appeared in Casualty and in Radio 4 dramas.

Belonging executive producer Bethan Jones said she was a "great girl and a really great actress".

She said: "She came into Belonging at the age of 15 I think in series four in a very small part and the writers really loved her.

"She made such an impact they gave her a bigger and bigger part and she became a real core character in the series, very much part of the Belonging family. A very talented young lady."

She added: "We're deeply shocked and incredibly sad."

A special final episode was broadcast last Thursday to mark the end the long-running series. Ms Parker had played teenage mother Stacey, struggling to bring up a young daughter.

Bethan Jones, the executive producer of BBC drama series Belonging, pays tribute to actress Stephanie Parker, who has been found dead.

Her agent Mark Jermin said: "Our thoughts are with the family and it is really sad. She was a great talent and we are really shocked."

He added: "Stephanie had a really effervescent, fiery, personality. She was a confident, outgoing girl. Full of life and great to work with.

"When I heard, I was just numb. It's come as a shock to everybody. It's a tragedy, because she was so young and talented."

Clare Hudson, BBC Wales' head of English language programmes, said: "Everyone at BBC Wales - especially all those who worked on Belonging - is extremely saddened at the news of Stephanie's tragic death.

"Stephanie was an immensely talented actor who, as Stacey, played a central role role in Belonging since she was 15 as well as appearing in other BBC productions such as Casualty and Doctors.

"Stephanie also worked with BBC Wales radio drama department on productions for Radio Four.

"Stephanie's talent played a major part in making Belonging the success it was and I'm sure that the programme's fans will be shocked by this untimely news.

"Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this very difficult time."

South Wales Police said Ms Parker's body was found by a passer-by at around 0600 BST on Saturday.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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