Former James Bond bombshell Angela Scoular has died after drinking chemical fluid in the form of drain cleaner and pouring it over her body, an inquest in London heard on Wednesday.
The 65-year-old had reportedly been battling with alcoholism, bowel cancer and worries over debt from shopping sprees caused by bipolar disorder for years. She suffered 40% burns to her body, throat and dietary tract after ingesting One Shot Instant Drain Cleaner with the mixture containing 91% sulphuric acid.
Scoular, who played Buttercup in the 1966 spoof “Casino Royale” and Ruby Bartlett in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” in 1969, had not been drinking on the morning she died and did not leave a suicide note, the inquest heard. She was pronounced dead at 5.34pm in hospital on April 11, just over two hours after drinking the chemicals.
After being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2008, Scoular underwent several courses of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, had surgery to remove diseased tissue and was given the all-clear. However, in the months leading up to her death she was apparently worried the cancer would return.
The depression and anxiety was made worse by drinking between 150 and 210 units and having manic episodes.
On the morning of April 11, when the actress died, her husband and British comedy actor Leslie Phillips was said to have brought her a cup of tea and a banana to bed. Shortly afterwards, Scoular got out of bed and went to fetch the bottle of drain cleaner. She immediately drank from it and then ran outside the house and poured the remains of the liquid all over her body. After this, she also slipped down the stairs to their house, fracturing her spine.
Phillips, 87, had heard a noise at the door but thought nothing of it until he heard a passer-by outside and looked out of the window and saw his wife lying next to the white plastic bottle with blood on her face. He ran outside to help her before calling an ambulance. He then tried to help her with water and towels.
The elderly actor was too unwell to attend the inquest, but maintained that the couple’s 35-year life together was a happy one. He said in a statement:
”The only exception was her alcoholism. Angela had been an alcoholic since I met her. She did stop drinking from time to time but would return to drinking.She was a nervous type of person, not confident. But she was a kind, generous person who would help me with my work and I would help with hers. ‘She was lovely when she was sober.”
Phillips said his wife had not mentioned suicide recently. She has, however, attempted it before, when she tried to kill herself in 1992 by cutting her wrists with a knife.
Other celebrities who have battled bipolar disorder include Superman actress Margot Kidder, actor Ben Stiller and singer Sinead O’Connor. It is also thought that Mel Gibson may suffer from the condition.
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