THE FORMER actress who made Cockfield her very own stage for a generation was remembered on Tuesday when a statue in her memory was unveiled in the village church.
Luanne Stockwell died in 2009 at the age of 95, having made the village her home since moving there with her late husband Ginger in 1954.
The statue of St Peter had been funded by some of her many friends in the community and now fills a niche in St Peter’s Church, which it is believed has remianed unoccupied since Henry VIII’s Reformation nearly 500 years ago.
The sculpture was carved Simon Keeley, who travelled from Surrey to attend the unveiling, by former Rector, Rev Dr Simon Hill.
The unique tribute is intended to represent Luanne’s deep faith, love for the community, her life in the arts, and reflects the extraordinary impact the actress and dancer had on the community she cared so deeply.
Born to a theatrical family, she toured the US in her 20s, took part in London productions, including acting with Sir John Mills and during the Second World War entertained troops in the Middle East with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA).
She and her husband arrived in Cockfield in a powder-blue, open-topped Triumph Herald, and made a huge impact for years to come.
She was a churchwarden, meals on wheels deliverer, WI president, local amateur and dramatic supporter, newspaper correspondent, Ipswich Town fan and hosted many coffee mornings and parties.
Friend Gillian Hodge said: “I think she would have been chuffed with the statue.”