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Camden New Journal - OBITUARY
Published: 27 September 2007
Nicola Jenkins
Moving farewell for actress who shared stage with stars

SCORES of wellwishers filled Golders Green crematorium last Tuesday to pay tribute to one of the early stars of the National Youth Theatre.
Tufnell Park actress Nicola Jenkins, who trod the boards with Simon Ward, Bill Kenwright and Oscar winner Helen Mirren, recently died from pancreatic cancer. She was 60.
Raised in Cheltenham, ‘Niki’ won her big break aged 16 when she was hand-picked from 600 teenage hopefuls to play the part of Ophelia in a West End production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Dame Helen Mirren played her hand-maiden in that 1963 NYT production staged at the Scala Theatre in Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia.
Ms Jenkins enjoyed a blossoming career in stage, television and radio throughout the 1960s until she moved to Australia to mother her daughter Yossarian.
The funeral service last Tuesday revealed a free spirit and devoted mother, a French food enthusiast and a vegetarian, with eclectic tastes.
Her life story was punctuated with the sounds of jazz greats including Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald.
Long-term partner Paul Sparrow, who lived with Ms Jenkins in Burghley Road, spoke of her love for Ingmar Bergman films, ballet, art galleries and “literature from Proust to DBC Pierre and music from Chopin to Eminem”.
“The key criteria was excellence,” he said.
“She had an enquiring mind, rarely accepting without question the version of the world as was perceived by others.
“I consider myself honoured and privileged that she chose to share a dozen or so years with me.
“And I am deeply grateful that she embraced my children with genuine unconditional love.”
Mr Sparrow’s daughter Genevieve read an extract from one of Ms Jenkins’s diaries.
In a moving farewell, Ms Jenkins’s daughter Yossarian Robins, 37, read from Elizabeth Browning’s How Do I Love Thee? “I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life,” she recited.

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