Geraldine McEwan has died aged 82.
The BAFTA-winning actress was best known for playing Agatha Christie's Miss Marple in 12 TV films.
Her son Greg and daughter Claudia issued a statement saying: "Following a stroke at the end of October and a period in hospital, Geraldine McEwan passed away peacefully on January 30.
"Her family would like to thank the staff at Charing Cross Hospital who cared for her incredibly well."
Sorry to hear that actress Geraldine McEwan had died, aged 82. Our thoughts are with her friends and family. RIP.
— Olivier Awards (@OlivierAwards) January 31, 2015
McEwan won a BAFTA for best actress in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and was lauded for her performance in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie. She went on to play the spinster detective Miss Marple for five years, retiring from the role in 2008.
She said at the time: "Of course, it is terribly disappointing to have to pass the baton on. But it has been a marvellous experience to inhabit this role for the last few years, and I am sure that my successor, whomever she may be, will thoroughly enjoy her time with the production team - and with the extraordinarily talented group of writers and actors that they come up with for each series."
McEwan also found success on the stage, working alongside Laurence Olivier.
Tributes have poured in for the actress on Twitter since news of her death was reported.
Actor John Challis, who played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, tweeted: "Dear Geraldine McEwan - a highlight of my career working with you at the NT [National Theatre] in The Rivals. Generous and kind to all of us. God bless you."
Charlie Lawson, who plays Jim McDonald in Coronation Street, said: "The sad death of another fine actress, Geraldine McEwan, today. Check out The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie. Great performance."
Gyles Brandreth wrote: "Shocked & saddened by the death of Geraldine McEwan, a great comic actress and a very lovely lady. Geraldine McEwan was a neighbour in Barnes, a lovely, funny & wise lady - and a great comic actress, with a unique voice, charm & style. Funny & beautiful: a perfect combination."
A message on the official Olivier Awards account said: "Sorry to hear that actress Geraldine McEwan had died, aged 82. Our thoughts are with her friends and family. RIP."