Gwyneth Powell, who appeared in the BBC show Grange Hill has died aged 76, her agent has confirmed.

The actress played headmistress Bridget McClusky between 1981 and 1991 and you might also recognise her from Channel 4’s comedy show Man Down.

In a statement on behalf of her family, her representative Matthew Lacey, said that Powell died “after complications following a major operation for a perforated colon”.

She died in Brighton last Thursday. The statement added: “She passed away peacefully, with her husband (Alan Leith) and niece at her bedside.

“Gwyneth will be greatly missed by her adoring family and friends along with her many fans from multiple TV appearances.”

Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children’s and Education: “We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Gwyneth Powell.

“Her famous portrayal of Mrs McClusky is one that will be fondly remembered by all those that grew up watching Grange Hill.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”

Born in Manchester on July 5, 1946, Powell landed her first major television role in The Guardians, the London Weekend Television dystopian drama series.

She had regular work and made appearances in TV dramas with her career accelerating after she was cast in Grange Hill, a children’s series about life in a comprehensive school.

After a decade of playing the headmistress, Bridget McClusky, she requested to be written out of the series so she could try out other roles.

Powell also appeared in Heartbeat, Holby City and Father Brown as well as Man Down.

Gwyneth Powell was married to actor Alan Leith.