British theatre star RUTHIE HENSHALL is devastated after her older sister NOEL died following an overdose of painkillers.
The Broadway and West End stage star, 40, and another sister Abigail joined their parents at the 49-year-old's bedside in a Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in California, where she died of liver failure on Sunday (19Aug07).
Former Chicago star Henshall says, "She had been suffering from severe back trouble and had taken too many painkillers. The whole family is heartbroken and shattered.
"She lifted the lives of everybody she met. I spoke to her on the phone in hospital before we flew out to her but by the time we arrived she had drifted into a coma and she never came out of it. Her liver had ceased to function."
Henshall will dedicate her new performance in Wales to Noel.