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PEGGY ASHCROFT, ACTRESS, DIES IN LONDON AT AGE 83

Dame Peggy Ashcroft, who won an Oscar and other film honors following an illustrious stage career, died Friday, three weeks after suffering a stroke, a spokeswoman for the Royal Free Hospital said. She was 83.

The hospital said Dame Peggy, unconscious since she was stricken May 23, died peacefully in the presence of her family.Esteemed as the greatest actress of her time, she was recognized as a peer of Lord Laurence Olivier, Sir Ralph Richardson and of Sir John Gielgud, her partner in many stage triumphs.

After retiring from the stage in 1982, she found a new public worldwide, winning an Oscar for the 1984 film "A Passage To India" and an Emmy nomination for her performance in TV's "The Jewel In the Crown."

Perhaps her greatest triumph came in 1963 in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of "The Wars of the Roses," playing the mad Margaret of Anjou and aging a lifetime in a 10-hour performance.