Ruth Jones leads tributes to Deddie Davies who died aged 78

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Ruth Jones has paid tribute to actress Deddie Davies, who has died at the age of 78.

Deddie played the role of Marj in the comedy series Stella alongside Ruth.

Deddie Davies
Deddie Davies died aged 78 (Warren Orchard for Sky1/Tidy Productions)

In a statement, Ruth said: "Deddie had been ill for a long time and I saw her about a month ago and showed her the Christmas special on my laptop.

"She loved working on Stella. She said it kept her going and she was massively loved by all the cast and crew.

Deddie Davies
Deddie Davies (left) (Nick Ansell PA Wire/PA Images)

"She was one of those rare people who didn't possess a grain of self pity and whose company ALWAYS brightened your day. A highly intelligent, joyful, talented and spectacularly spirited woman who was an inspiration to us all. She absolutely lived life to the full. God bless you Deddie."

In the statement, given to Wales Online, Ruth added: "You'll be unspeakably missed."

James Corden and Ruth Jones
James Corden and Ruth Jones co-wrote Gavin and Stacey (Yui Mok/PA )

The TV and film star was also known for her role as Mrs Nell Perks in 1970 film The Railway Children.

She was born in Bridgend in Wales in 1938 as Gillian Davies.

Her long career in TV included roles in Doctors, The Bill, The Forsyte Saga, Grange Hill and Some Mothers Do 'Ave Em.

Tony Gardner, who appeared with her in Stella, paid tribute with a post on Twitter.

Karen Paullada, who also appeared in the Sky1 series, wrote: "Sad times in this happy Christmas period RIP lovely Deddie Davies #Marge Stella."