Irish actress and singer Rose-Marie Kane dead of suspected heart attack at age 68

 June 9, 2024

A beloved actress and singer from Northern Ireland, Rose-Marie Kane, unexpectedly passed away on Friday at the age of 68, according to the U.K. Express.

Kane, who was reportedly finishing up the recording of her 20th studio album and had public appearances and performances scheduled for later this month, is believed by friends to have died from a sudden heart attack.

"Heavy hearts" and "great sadness" over unexpected death

The sad news of Kane's death was first shared in a post to her official Facebook page on Friday morning that said, "It is with heavy hearts & enormous great sadness, that we have to announce the sudden passing of our much loved Rose-Marie, in her beloved second home of Blackpool. Rest in Peace, dear heart."

The Blackpool Gazette reported that Kane, in addition to being a popular Irish country singer, was also an accomplished actress who had appeared in several U.K. TV shows, including The Royal Variety Show, Shooting Stars, Doctors, and Big Brother's Little Brother, among others.

She had also served as a celebrity judge on the BBC game show Go For It as well as for other local and regional talent shows.

Grew up singing on a farm, later became an actress

The Belfast News Letter reported that Rose-Marie Kane was born and raised on a farm near Newry and began singing at an early age to help soothe the cows while they were milked in a barn that she once recalled had great acoustics.

Kane and three of her sisters soon began singing together at nursing homes and in talent shows, but only she took it seriously enough to pursue as a solo artist.

After building a small audience of fans across the U.K. with her singing and acting in musicals and on TV shows, she traveled to Los Angeles, California, for acting classes to hone her craft and spent time performing in Las Vegas, Nevada, before returning to the U.K. and settling in Blackpool.

"She had so much to look forward to"

The Belfast Telegraph reported that radio and TV broadcaster Robin Elliot was in disbelief that his good friend Rose-Marie, whom he'd first worked together with in the 1990s, had suddenly passed away while otherwise in seemingly good health.

"I just can’t believe this has happened," Elliot said. "I’ve known her for a hell of a long time, I first met her in the Nineties." He recalled how their "paths crossed many times" over the decades on various projects and how they were scheduled to appear together in Blackpool later this month for a performance and Q&A session with the audience.

"She had so much to look forward to. She was in the studio recording a new album, there was a TV documentary being made about her ... life was good," Elliot said. "She’d just moved back to Blackpool last year and was in a lovely apartment. I’m just so glad that I was in Blackpool a couple of weeks ago and got to spend a lovely few days with her."

He added, "It was so sudden -- the last day I was with her she was in great form. There were no health issues at all. We think it was a heart attack."

Good friend "absolutely heartbroken" over sudden loss

The Telegraph noted that among the many heartfelt condolences and tributes in response to Kane's unexpected death was one from British actress and singer Tricia Penrose, who said in a social media post, "I am absolutely heartbroken to lose my dear friend Rose-Marie. RIP my dear heart. We were only together this time last week in Blackpool. I’m going to miss you so much xxx."

Kane is reportedly survived by her mother, Ann, and though details have yet to be finalized, it is believed that a burial and funeral service will soon be held in her hometown of Newry.

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