Hilary Heath, an actress and producer best known for her work in Witchfinder General and Wuthering Heights has died. The actor and producer passed away last week due to complications stemming from COVID-19. She was 74.
Hilary Heath’s godson, Alex Winter, revealed the news of his godmother’s passing in a Facebook post. In his message, Winter not only celebrated Heath’s career in the film and television industry, but he also praised her work as a counselor. Winter did not disclose the exact day Hilary Heath passed away.
Hilary Heath (originally known as Hilary Dwyer) began acting in the late 1960s and early 1970s, during which she starred in a number of horror films from American International Pictures. These movies would pair her with horror legend Vincent Price, and the two would forge a firm working relationship. Aside from Witchfinder General, the two would also star together in The Oblong Box and Cry of the Banshee.
In 1970, she would go on to star in Robert Fuest’s big-screen adaptation of Wuthering Heights in which Heath would play the role of Isabella Linton.
In addition to her film career, Dwyer appeared in several TV shows including The Avengers, The Challengers, Man at the Top and Space: 1999.
Dwyer would go on to retire from acting by the 1980s and enter the world of producing. It was at this time that she took on her married name “Heath” professionally. Her producing career began in earnest in 1983 when she served as an executive producer on the television miniseries Jamaica Inn, which she would later help revamp with a second miniseries in 2014.
Hilary Heath’s role as a producer would eventually pair her with some pretty big names. In 1995, she served as a producer on an Awfully Big Adventure, which starred Hugh Grant and the late Alan Rickman. Two years later, she produced Nil by Mouth starring Gary Oldman. She also produced TV movies like Frenchman’s Creek and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.
One of Heath’s more recent producing credits was National Geographic’s Swamp Men, a reality series that followed the staff of Billie Swamp Safari, a group considered to be some of the greatest animal-for-face-to-face-encounters. On the show, Hilary Heath served as senior producer on 11 episodes.
As mentioned by Alex Williams, Hilary Heath was also academically inclined, as she earned a master’s degree in psychology from Oxford University. With this, she would become an addiction counselor who specialized in CBT. Williams also mentioned that Heath worked in clinics across the globe where she sought to help those in distress.
Hilary Heath is survived by her son, Big Eyes composer Daniel Heath and her daughter, Laura. Plans for a memorial service of any kind have not been announced at this time.
We here at CinemaBlend extend our thoughts to Hilary Heath’s family, friends and loved ones at this time.
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