Sixties singer Kathy Kirby dies
Published 20/05/2011 | 10:58
Singing star and pin-up Kathy Kirby, who achieved a run of hits in the 1960s, has died at the age of 72.
Her family said she died last night after a short illness.
The blonde bombshell - whose biggest and best-known hit was Secret Love - also represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965, coming second to Luxembourg.
When her chart days were behind her, she then appeared in a number of TV variety shows. But she went on to withdraw from the public eye.
A statement released on behalf of her family said the singer "died suddenly last night after a short illness".
"She will be greatly missed by her family and her many friends who have stood loyal over the years."
Kathy - whose niece Sarah is married to Sir Mark Thatcher - was one of the biggest stars of her day. She had two top tens and three others in the top 40, which helped her to land her own TV series.
Born in Ilford, Essex, her career was guided by bandleader Bert Ambrose who took her on the club circuit before agreeing a deal with Decca Records.
She appeared on the huge US TV programme The Ed Sullivan Show and was courted by Hollywood movie producers.
Kathy, who lived in west London, made her last major public singing appearance in the early 1980s on a TV special.