Westhorpe: Inquest opens into death of former film actress Jean Kent

British film star Jean Kent British film star Jean Kent

Matt Hunter matt.hunter@archant.co.uk
Friday, December 20, 2013
5:29 PM

An inquest into the death of a former film star who lived in a Suffolk village has opened and adjourned.

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Joan Mildred Hurst, known as Jean Kent, was found collapsed at her home in Church Road, Westhorpe, near Stowmarket, on November 28.

The 92-year-old was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds but died two days later.

Greater Suffolk coroner Peter Dean said the cause of death had been given as chest injuries following a post-mortem examination.

The inquest, held at Bury St Edmunds Farmers Club, heard how police believe there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Dr Dean said Miss Kent, who starred in films in the 1940s and 1950s alongside Marilyn Monroe, Michael Redgrave and Laurence Olivier, had been a “well-known and well-liked lady”.

Her funeral will take place tomorrow at St Margaret’s Church, Westhorpe, at noon, followed by a reception at her house.

Penelope Keith, star of BBC comedy series The Good Life, has sent a tribute to her which will be read out by Miss Kent’s close friend and former film critic Michael Thornton, during the service.

Mr Thornton said: “We are concerned only to honour and pay tribute to a great star of the British stage and screen, and everyone in the village of Westhorpe is giving their time and support to ensure that today’s service is a fitting farewell to her.”

Donations in her memory have been asked to go to the Actors’ Benevolent Fund, a charity Miss Kent supported throughout her life.

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