Stowmarket: Police say former film star Jean Kent’s death not suspicious

Jean Kent is pictured at her home in Westhorpe Jean Kent is pictured at her home in Westhorpe

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
5:14 PM

Police say they have investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of former film star Jean Kent – found collapsed at her home near Stowmarket – and passed a file to the coroner.

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Jean Kent is pictured with a young Ronald ReaganJean Kent is pictured with a young Ronald Reagan

Greater Suffolk coroner Peter Dean had referred the 92-year-old’s death to Suffolk Constabulary, although last night police said once again that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Miss Kent, who starred in films in the 1940s and 1950s alongside Marilyn Monroe, Michael Redgrave and Laurence Olivier, lived in Westhorpe.

It is understood the former actress was found by her housekeeper on November 28. However, she died at West Suffolk Hospital two days later.

Forensic experts have been to her home as part of the inquiry. There were no signs of a break-in.

Miss Kent’s funeral was due to take place on December 7 at St Margaret’s Church in Westhorpe, but was postponed pending further enquiries into how she died.

Her close friend and former film critic Michael Thornton said: “All this is terribly distressing to everyone who knew and loved Jean.

“We are now hopinig to hold her funeral in Westhorpe on Saturday, December 21, but until the coroner releases her body nothing can be arranged.”

Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Before her death the woman made no disclosures to her carer, paramedics or hospital staff that she had been assaulted.

“Following a post mortem examination it was established that the woman died as a result of trauma to her chest area.”

She added: “Carers, paramedics and hospital staff were also spoken to and police are satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the woman’s death.”

Miss Kent’s career included regular appearances in Gainsborough melodramas, which were popular following the outbreak of the Second World War.

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