Benedict Cumberbatch opens up on recent, tragic loss

·2 min read

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch pays tribute to late sister

Benedict Cumberbatch has paid tribute to his late half-sister, Tracy Peacock. The talented artist died aged 62, after a seven year battle with cancer.

Tracy was the daughter of Benedict's mother Wanda Ventham, and her first husband, James Tabernacle. The couple divorced in 1970 and Wanda married Timothy Carlton, Benedict's dad. Despite the age difference between the half-siblings, she and Benedict had a strong bond, he has said.

Tracy was just thirteen when Wanda met Timothy in Ireland while filming sequences for A Family At War in 1972. Timothy and Wanda married in 1976 and Benedict was born that year.

Tracey lived at home with their mother and stepfather, and used to babysit for him. She once left him on the roof as a joke, only later realising it had started to snow.

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Benedict Cumberbatch reacts at the premiere of
Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of "The Power of the Dog" at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto,(REUTERS/)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 11: (R-L) Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton attend the UK film premiere of 'The Power of the Dog' at the Royal Festival Hall during the 65th BFI London Film Festival in London, United Kingdom on October 11, 2021. (Photo by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton attend the UK film premiere of 'The Power of the Dog' at the Royal Festival Hall (Getty Images)

"I mean, it was funny," Cumberbatch has said. "She was in the kitchen with her friends and she suddenly saw the snow falling through the window."

The two remained close, and the actor has not talked about her death until now. 

English actor Benedict Cumberbatch (R) and wife English theatre director Sophie Hunter attend the
Benedict Cumberbatch and wife English theatre director Sophie Hunter attend the "Spider-Man: No way home" premiere in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

"She died of cancer," Benedict revealed. "She'd been battling it for seven years. As the greatly awful Donald Rumsfeld said, 'stuff happens'. It's horrible."

"She was a brilliant fine artist but ended up doing a lot of restorative work on canvas and on frames and carpentry.

"But still kept her hand in and did her own work and made the most Christmas and celebratory cards of any kind of festival. She was very gifted."

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Tracey lived in Wiltshire. She also worked as a picture frame restorer, was married and had a 34 year old daughter, Emily.

Her life was a far cry from her half-brother's A-list whirl of public success. Paying tribute, he added, "She was nothing to do with this (acting) world. She was markedly different."

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch recalls growing up with actor parents

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