The death of a star performer in 2001

Educating Marmalade ran from 19xx to 19xx

Marmalade Atkins was on British television 1982-1984

I looked up my diary for Wednesday 21st November in 2001 – twelve years ago – and found this entry:

In the evening, I was shocked to read about the death at 33 of actress Charlotte Coleman, whom I had met in 1983 when I chose her to present a month’s worth of Children’s ITV – ie two days’ work. She was around 14 then and starring in the ITV show Educating Marmalade. Like the character, she was superficially cynical and rebellious – though insecure underneath the bravado. She later had a central role in the feature film Four Weddings and a Funeral. In her obituary, it said that, when she was 19, Charlotte’s boyfriend had been killed in a road accident. At 33, she had died from an asthma attack.

Charlotte in Four Weddings & a Funeral

Charlotte starred as Scarlett  in Four Weddings and a Funeral

When she was recording the Children’s ITV continuity links for me, the director and I took her for lunch at a fairly up-market restaurant. I think she thought we were pretentious prats. At her age, she gave me the impression she would have preferred to go to a Wimpy hamburger bar.

When she died, she was fairly well-known.

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit (1990)

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit caused stir on 1990 TV

As a child actress, she had appeared as a running character in the TV series Worzel Gummidge. As an adult, she had been noticed in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

I guess few people remember her now – like all dead people – except her friends and family and, two generations hence, only scholars of old TV shows and movies will even know she existed. In that, she has the advantage over most people.

Though maybe she will be remembered for a time.

In 2003, the New London Performing Arts Centre started a Charlotte Coleman Scholarship. A showcase event is held every November from which one performer is chosen to receive the award. All NLPAC members are eligible for the prize of a year’s classes in dance, drama and music

She seemed a nice kid.

R.I.P. Charlotte Ninon Coleman
(3 April 1968 – 14 November 2001).

So it goes.

2 Comments

Filed under Death, Television, UK

2 responses to “The death of a star performer in 2001

  1. Mark Allen

    Tragic that she died so young. Was really sad to hear about it. She was a real one off, and an inspiration.

  2. Her face is immediately familiar. Thank you, John, for reminding us of Charlotte Coleman..

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