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Heartfelt tributes paid to brave actress Lesley

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A TALENTED actress who starred in Scottish soap Take the High Road has lost her battle with cancer.

Lesley Fitz-Simons, from Milton of Campsie, died at the weekend, aged 51. She is survived by her daughter Marnie.

Lesley, from Milton of Campsie, rose to fame in the STV soap ‘Take the High Road’.

A former pupil of Craighead Primary and Kilsyth Academy, Lesley undertook courses at the RSAMD in Glasgow and held diplomas for teaching drama.

Her big break came after an appearance in an STV play just before her 21st birthday – when the producer of ‘High Road’ asked her to perform the part of then 16-year-old Sheila Ramsay for five episodes.

It turned into an incredible 18-year stint in the show.

Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of channels at STV, said: “We are sorry to hear of the passing of Lesley Fitz-Simons who will be fondly remembered by the many fans of ‘Take the High Road’ as the character, Sheila Ramsay, whom she played for 18 years.

“High Road remains one of the UK’s longest running drama series and Lesley’s contribution to its success was significant.”

For many years Lesley (above) was a judge in the Herald’s Bonny Baby competition. She was a member of Milton of Campsie Parish Church.

Jim Crawford, session clerk at the church, said: “I didn’t know Lesley that well. She was well liked and loved in the village. She opened fundraising events in the church. She was a nice person, outgoing and friendly.”

After her stint on ‘High Road’, Lesley moved more into theatre work, including pantos, often appearing at the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow.

Pavilion boss Iain Gordon paid tribute.

He said: “Lesley was a real sincere performer. Great fun on and off stage and was always an inspiration to others!

“You always saw Lesley with a smile on her face and she took time to speak to everyone.

“She will be sadly missed by all at the Pavilion, she was one of the “family”.”

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