The director, known for poignant films and series throughout the past two decades, has lost her battle with cancer.
Antonia Bird, the director behind many high-profile film and television productions in the past decade, has died at the age of 54, according to a statement by her agent, made public by BBC News. 1994's Priest, 1997's Face and 1999's Ravenous, all starring Trainspotting actor Robert Carlyle. The actor mourned her death over Twitter earlier today.
Before moving on to television, Bird worked at as a theatre director at London's Royal Court. She made the move to the new medium in the late 80s, by writing several episodes of EastEnders and Casualty. In 1993, she won BAFTAs for Safe - a story about homeless teenagers written for BBC Two's Screenplay series - and Care, broadcast in 2000, which dealt with sexual abuse in a children's home. Some of her other achievements include a Bafta children's award for the 2009 BBC documentary Off By Heart, about a national poetry competition for schoolchildren, as well as the best film distinction at the Berlin International Film Festival and the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival - both for Priest.
A statement by Bird’s husband announced that Antonia had passed away peacefully in her sleep, after struggling with a rare form of thyroid cancer for several months. Bird had an operation in April to remove the tumor, however that proved unsuccessful. In the end, Bird’s husband claimed that she had come to terms with the worst possible outcome.
"Despite a determined fight, she had come to terms with the inevitable in the last few weeks and died peacefully in her sleep," the statement read.
Such terribly sad news yesterday re the untimely death of the wonderful Antonia Bird. A brilliant, inspiring, beautiful Soul. RIP Antonia x— John Simm (@john_simm) October 26, 2013