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Beryl Vertue, a veteran television producer and founder of production company Hartswood Films, has died. She was 90.
Vertue’s daughters Sue and Debbie, who are also producers at Hartswood Films, confirmed her death to the Press Association News Agency on Sunday.
“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we have to share the sad news that mum/Beryl passed away peacefully last night,” read their joint statement, as reported in multiple U.K. outlets. “It wasn’t Covid, it was just her nearly 91-year-old body saying enough is enough.”
Vertue founded independent production outfit Hartswood Films in 1979, run by creative director Steven Moffat. The company produced Emmy and BAFTA-winning series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman; Dracula, The Devil’s Hour and more.
Among her numerous other credits, Vertue served as a producer on Jekyll, Supernova, Carrie & Barry, Coupling, The Savages, Wonderful You and British Men Behaving Badly. Earlier in her career, Vertue produced the TV movie Mousey, starring Kirk Douglas and Jean Seaberg.
Prior to her career in television production, Vertue was a business manager and agent to comedians in Britain such as Frankie Howerd.
In their statement, Sue and Debbie described Vertue as not just their mother, “but our best friend, our mentor, our adviser, our role model, our holiday companion, our giggle-maker and our boss! She adored her family and was so proud of us all. She also adored her career and spending time with everybody.
“She loved a glass of wine at lunchtime, she loved asking the common sense question, she was often the last person at a party, she didn’t suffer fools, she was fair, she was kind, she was fun, she was stubborn, in fact she was the total package and we will miss her beyond words. She was more than a mother to us — she was also a friend. To many in the industry she was more than a friend — she was often a mother.”
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