Credit: Shutterstock/Lynda Bellingham

Enjoy the bits you can and tell your family you love the while you have the chance

Born in Montreal in Canada in 1948 as Meredith Hughes, Oxo mum actress Lynda Bellingham was adopted by an English family at only four months old and raised in Buckinghamshire.

She became interested in acting at school, and auditioned at the Central School for Speech and Drama. On rejection, she doggedly asked the head of stage to reconsider, and won her place.

" I had a ball!" she later said.

She appeared in diverse dramas from All Creatures Great and Small, to The Sweeney and Doctor Who. But she is probably best known and loved as the mother in the Oxo family adverts. Her role saw the stock cubes’ sales increase as a result.

In her later career, she took many more dramatic roles on stage and television, but many will note her more than 300 appearances on the daytime TV panel show, Loose Women.

She was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and openly spoke about her struggle. Her book, There’s Something I’ve Been Dying To Tell You, inspired many with her courage in the face of adversity. In the same year, she was made an OBE for her charity work.

Lynda died with her husband Michael by her side, and was buried in Crewkerne, Somerset. But the memory of The nation's favourite mum will live on.