ACTRESS and director Diana Provan, the former Altrincham resident who once looked after screen legend Marilyn Monroe, has died at the age of 75.

Joseph, her husband, said Diana met the iconic star when she was on the editorial board of a theatre magazine called Encore.

He said: “They had a seminar in London and they invited Arthur Miller to come along. He brought Marilyn Monroe with him. The people on the board said to Diana you look after Marilyn while we get Arthur Miller on stage. Marilyn was in disguise wearing a false wig. Diana had to sit next to her and had pointed out her wig was falling off.”

Diana, who was also known by her stage name, Diana Harker, enjoyed a long and varied stage and screen career. She was one of the directors of Manchester’s Library Theatre and her TV appearances included Coronation Street and the BBC comedy Last of the Summer Wine.

She also acted in and directed plays at Altrincham Garrick and lifelong friend Neville Roby, the theatre’s marketing manager, paid her a warm tribute.

He said: “Wonderfully imaginative, artistic, dedicated and with a refusal to accept nothing but the best she became a much loved character at the Garrick. I know of many actors who consider Diana the best person they ever acted or performed for and I put myself in that category also.”

Diana died in hospital in Italy, her home for several years, on February 23 after suffering a cerebral haemorhage while on holiday in Tenerife. A celebration of her life will be held at St Mary’s Church, Bowdon, on March 18 at noon.

She is survived by her husband, Joseph, and her children Nicholas, Julia and Jeremy.