Helena Bonham Carter's dying father clung on to see the birth of his grandson before losing his battle with longterm illness.

The actress is thrilled dad RAYMOND got the chance to see Billy Ray, her two year old son with director husband Tim Burton, before dying aged 74 last year (04).

Raymond had battled paralysis caused by a stroke he suffered while undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour in 1979, when Helena was 13.

She says, "He was meant to die when I was pregnant, but I'm so grateful he didn't. He stuck it out, he kept phoning and saying, 'When is my boy going to arrive?'

"He met Billy and then he chose to die. He said, 'I've got to go now.'"