Water Rats: articles

Television star Heathcote dies in US

AUSTRALIAN television actress Sophie Heathcote has died in the American state of Connecticut, reportedly from an aneurism. The actress, who died yesterday, was also believed to have been suffering from skin cancer.

Melbourne-born Heathcote, 33, appeared in television shows including A Country Practice, Water Rats and Raw FM. Her theatre work included playing the lead role of Jennifer in the Melbourne Theatre Company's 1998 production of The Misanthrope, directed by Simon Phillips.

A NIDA graduate, Heathcote's final TV role was in 2001, in the ABC political satire Grass Roots, in which she played councillor Biddy Marchant in an AFI-winning performance.

She retired from acting in 2001 to concentrate on her all-natural skin care range, Ki, which she founded in 1998. It was voted by Marie Claire magazine as product of the year in 2000. But in 2002, Heathcote sold her product ingredients to a French company.

In 2003, Heathcote and her husband, advertising agency chief Chris Clarke, established the annual Celebration of Life neonatal unit fundraiser for the Royal Children's Hospital after staff saved the life of their first child, Madeleine. The event raised $500,000 in its first year.

The couple moved to the US last year, basing themselves in New York. Heathcote is survived by her husband, daughter, and a 16-month-old son.

By Jo Roberts
January 6, 2006
The Age