BBC star Maddy Anholt has died one year after she was diagnosed with a “rare and aggressive brain cancer”, her family has said. She was 35.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the death of Maddy Anholt, our beloved daughter, sister, twin, friend, wife and mother, who left this world on Wednesday 13th September, aged 35,” her family said in a statement on Thursday morning (14 September).
“You may know that shortly after the birth of her incredible daughter Opal last year, Maddy was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. She handled the ensuing surgery and treatment with astonishing grace and courage, accompanied every step of the way by her family and devoted husband, Ben,” they added.
The statement was shared on a GoFundMe page set up to provide for the Opal, who is one.
Anholt, who starred in several sitcoms including Sunny D, Jerk, and The Emily Atack Show, spent her final weeks with her parents at their home, Sunflower House “bathed in love and calm, and with the sounds of nature all around”.
Her family expressed their gratitude for “the countless nurses, doctors, and the NHS as a whole” for caring for Anholt “with unfailing dignity and compassion”.
“In particular we would like to thank the magnificent team at Seaton Hospice at Home, who are the embodiment of empathy, professionalism and love,” the statement continued.
Anholt was invited to become an ambassador for the Women’s Aid Federation of England after she published her first book titled How to Leave Your Psychopath, a non-fiction title about breaking free from toxic and controlling relationships.
“How to Leave Your Psychopath is a candid account of the complex, subtle nature of coercive control and abusive relationships from comedian Maddy Anholt, who – until her eyes were opened – had spent her entire dating life trapped in them,” the synopsis reads.
In a first-person piece for Mail Online, Anholt described her suffering in the aftermath of an abusive relationship, adding that it left her “broken”.
“I’d lost myself entirely. The weight had fallen off me – three stone in under six months – so much so, my periods stopped,” she wrote. “My arms were scarred with psoriasis. I barely spoke to family and friends. I was addicted to a man who was poisoning me from the inside.”
In addition to acting, Anholt also made regular appearances on ITV daytime show This Morning, and conducted several public speaking masterclasses using techniques she learnt during her career as an actor and comedian.
In Anholt’s final Instagram post before her death, she revealed she had been working on a fiction book released by indie press UCLan Publishing, which has an adult fiction imprint with a focus on “books written for women”.
“We’ve been quietly working away on this amongst other things,” Anholt’s caption read. “Watch this space, as they say.”