Entertainment & Arts

Casualty star Rebekah Gibbs dies, aged 41

Rebekah Gibbs
Image caption The actress starred in more than 100 episodes of Casualty as paramedic Nina Farr

Former Casualty actress Rebekah Gibbs has died from cancer.

The 41-year-old played paramedic Nina Farr for more than 100 episodes of the BBC medical drama between 2004 and 2006.

Her agent Belfield and Ward tweeted the news: "Darling Rebekah Gibbs, a true inspiration and dazzling light, never to be forgotten."

She left Casualty to have a family and was diagnosed with cancer after the birth of her daughter in 2008.

Gibbs was just weeks away from giving birth when she first noticed a lump in her breast.

Doctors were reassuring and said it would be benign.

But just months after having baby Gigi and after pushing for further treatment because she felt something was wrong, the actress was told she had a particularly aggressive cancer.

Speaking to the BBC in 2010 when she had celebrated two years of being cancer free, she said that she didn't take anything for granted.

"I won't get cocky though and I take each day as it comes. I am always a little unsure about the future," she said.

She wrote about her experience of breast cancer in a weekly column for the Daily Mirror, saying the exact moment she found the lump was "one that will be etched on my memory forever".

"I close my eyes, and I am right back there, in front of the TV, feeling petrified as I desperately run my finger above my baby bump and under my breast, willing the lump to disappear.

"That crushing fear has stayed with me. It's with me every day."

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Media captionRebekah Gibbs as paramedic Nina Farr in an episode of Casualty.

The actress, who also appeared in The Bill and on stage in A Chorus Line, Grease and Starlight Express, was given the five year all clear in April 2013.

She said she was "really content" to have reached the milestone but in August she had a seizure while on holiday in Devon.

She was taken to hospital and was diagnosed with two brain tumours.

Her husband Ashley Pitman said she died in the early hours of Wednesday at The Hospice in the Weald in Kent with family by her side.

In a statement he said: "Rebekah had wonderful care and felt loved and safe right up until the end, especially with the outstanding nursing staff at the Hospice in the Weald, who were exceptional.

"I'd like to thank them and her dear, loving friends, from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support we received over the last year. Without which Rebekah and I would not have been able to cope.

"I'd also like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and messages at this difficult time. My daughter and I take a great deal of comfort from this as we come to terms with life without our Rebekah."

James Redmond, who starred with Gibbs in Casualty tweeted: "So sad to hear lovely Rebekah Gibbs has passed away. She lit up every room with her smile and positivity. R.I.P."

Coronation Street actress Hayley Tamaddon tweeted: "My dear friend passed away today. A true star, always smiling and so positive.

"So many memories. We will never forget you Becky. Keep twinkling. Wherever you are."

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