AN ACTRESS with a career spanning six decades has been remembered for her comic portrayal of Blunder Woman in The Russ Abbot Show.

Bella Emberg died of natural causes on January 12, aged 80, after a successful career in entertainment, acting in some of the nation’s most loved programmes.

Bella, who was born Sybil Dyke in Brighton and later resided in Morden, is perhaps most commonly known for playing Blunder Woman, the sidekick of superhero Cooperman in the popular show, which ran from 1980 to 1996.

The programme attracted 18 million viewers at its peak, with Mr Abbot playing Cooperman.

She also featured in Doctor Who , Z Cars, The Benny Hill Show and a number of other British television favourites, including children’s programme Bear Behaving Badly.

Growing up, Bella was passionate about entertaining and wanted to take the art up as a career.

She landed her first professional acting role at the age of 25 at a weekly repertory theatre in Ryde, Isle of Wight.

This is where she gained her professional name, Bella Emberg, performing in a variety of stage shows there.

Her love of comedy and sitcoms became apparent throughout her career, with her taking up roles in shows such as Curry And Chips, Sykes, Father Dear Father and Man About The House.

During an interview with the Daily Mirror last year, Bella said her role as Blunder Woman “saved her career” and that she viewed the character as a “complete blessing”.

She did add that it had also hindered her career in some ways, saying: “After it ended in 1996 I couldn’t get work.

“I went for jobs and they’d say ‘We’d love to hire you but you’re too well known with Russ’.”

Before she passed away, Bella was still active in the entertainment industry, most recently filming scenes before Christmas for In The Long Run, a comedy created by actor Idris Elba.

The sitcom is due to be released on Sky One later this year.

Bella leaves behind her partner Rosemary Ellis.

Paying tribute to his former co-star, Mr Abbot said Bella was a “huge comedy talent” and “a woman of immense warmth and generosity”.

Charlie Hanson, one of the producers of In the Long Run, said Emberg was a “brilliant” actress and a “lovely and funny woman”.