ILKLEY, England, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- British stage actress Pat Kirkwood, whose storied career spanned six decades, has died in a nursing home in Ilkley, England, at 86.
Dubbed the "queen of the West End," Kirkwood was the last surviving leading lady of the Noel Coward era, The Daily Telegraph said Thursday.
Despite her accomplishments on stage, Kirkwood was always remembered for a 1948 occasion when she danced the night away with the Duke of Edinburgh. Kirkwood always denied she and the royal had a romantic relationship.
"He was full of life and energy," she recalled years later. "I suspect he felt trapped and rarely got a chance to be himself."
The actress, who married four times, recently declined to be interviewed for a documentary about the Duke: "I long ago brought down the curtain on the subject. It is an episode that has done me an immense amount of harm."
Kirkwood began her career as a teenager and became a star in 1939 in the revue "Black Velvet" at the London Hippodrome.
In 1954, she headlined "The Pat Kirkwood Show," marking the first time a woman starred in her own one-hour series on British television, The Daily Telegraph said.