Jean Kent: Inquest into film star's death to be held

Jean Kent starred in the Edwardian romance Carnival
Image caption Jean Kent starred was famous for her work in Gainsborough melodramas

An inquest is to be held into the death of actress Jean Kent, who died after a fall at her home in Suffolk.

Ms Kent, 92, one of Britain's biggest TV and film stars of the 1940s and 1950s, died in hospital on 30 November.

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean confirmed he would be opening an inquest, having ordered a post-mortem examination last week.

After investigations, Suffolk Police said it was not treating her death as suspicious.

An inquest hearing under Ms Kent's real name, Joan Mildred Hurst, is expected to be held next week.

'Considerable disarray'

Her funeral was due to be held on 7 December but was postponed to allow the post-mortem examination to be carried out.

Dr Dean said he could not comment on the test results.

Image caption Jean Kent also appeared in dramas such as The Browning Version

Michael Thornton, a friend, said Ms Kent was found collapsed in her bedroom at Westhorpe, near Stowmarket, on 28 November by her housekeeper.

He claimed the room was "in considerable disarray" and when Ms Kent was taken to hospital she was found to have fractured ribs and severe and chronic bruising to her body.

She died at West Suffolk Hospital two days later.

Ms Kent's last public appearance was in June 2011 when she was honoured by the British Film Institute on her 90th birthday.

She appeared in 45 films and starred alongside Marilyn Monroe, Michael Redgrave and Laurence Olivier during her career.

Mr Thornton described the events following her death as "terribly distressing to everyone who knew and loved Jean".

"We are now hoping to hold her funeral in Westhorpe on 21 December, but until the coroner releases her body, nothing can be arranged," he said.

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