13/02/2017 13:50 GMT

Sara Coward Dead: The Archers' Caroline Sterling Dies, Aged 69

'We will all miss her both professionally and personally.'

‘The Archers’ actress Sara Coward has died, at the age of 69.

For the past 40 years, Sara has been best known for her portrayal of Caroline Sterling in the BBC Radio 4 show.

Last year, Sara was diagnosed with terminal cancer, with the radio soap’s editor, Huw Kennair-Jones, confirming the news of her death on Monday (13 February).

Sara Coward

He said in a statement (via the BBC): “Everyone in The Archers family is very sad today. Sara was a gifted actress with a unique voice.

“Even when she was navigating the tribulations of Caroline Sterling’s love life, Sara’s deft wit and clever characterisation meant Caroline was never solely defined by her relationships but always as a fully rounded, intriguing woman of substance.

“We will all miss her both professionally and personally.” 

Graham Wood / Daily Mail /REX/Shutterstock
Sara and her co-stars celebrating the 30th anniversary of 'The Archers' in 1980

Sara made her final appearance on the radio series in September last year, and told Radio Times in January that she hoped her death wouldn’t mean the character would have to be written out.

She said: “I’d like them to find someone else to play her. In fact I know the very person.”

Her character, Caroline, first arrived on the show as a barmaid in 1977, before later getting a job at the Grey Gables hotel, rising up the ranks until she became its proprietor.

However, she’s probably best remembered to ‘Archers’ fans for being unlucky in love, racking up a string of failed relationships under her belt over the decades.

In addition to her voice work on ‘The Archers’, Sara’s credits also included work on the stage, and as a writer.

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