Veteran actress and entrepreneur Deborah Raffin has passed away after battling with leukaemia for about a year, she was 59.

The actress, best known for her role the TV series 7th Heaven and the mini-series Noble House from 1988, as well as a number of films such as Death Wish 3 and Scanners 2, was diagnosed with blood cancer last year and passed away at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on Wednesday (Nov 21), her brother told press.

Although it is her roles on screen that won her her first set of admirers, with the Californian gaining a reputation for playing 'pretty girl' roles during the 70's, before finding moderate fame in roles both on the silver and the small screen, her role as a pioneer of audio book may make her more well remembered than any of her on-screen roles. 

Beginning as a hobby between her and then husband Michael Viner (who passed away in 2009) during the mid-1980s, the two launched Dove out of their garage before watching it become a multimillion-dollar business selling audio adaptation of books as diverse as Sidney Sheldon's bestseller The Naked Face to Stephen Hawking's musings of the universe with A Brief History of Time (Dove's first best seller).

In addition to her brother, William, Raffin is survived by her sister, Judy Holston, and a daughter, Taylor Rose Viner.