A GREAT-grandmother who taught hundreds of people to act and dance has died aged 97.
Cynthia Coatts, pictured, died on March 16 in Coulsdon.
The mother of two founded the Rosslyn School of Dance and Drama and ran it from home for more than 65 years, until 2003.
Remembering her "unique, unselfish" mother, Berry Butler said: "She had a really hard life, but always this love for the theatre, using your creative abilities and imagination."
Cynthia had seemed stagebound after attending the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, but for a few twists and turns.
"Her father said 'that is no life for a young lady' and she qualified to teach dance and drama with the Royal Academy," Mrs Butler said.
"She was an excellent actress and would have made it in the profession but she had two daughters to rear. Family was very important to her, and they all loved her."
Her granddaughter is actress Abigail Cruttenden and her grandson, Hal Cruttenden, is a comedian.
Cynthia was also deputy head at Fair Dene school in Chipstead for 38 years.
She celebrated her 90th birthday by playing the Ghost of Christmas Past at the Miller Centre in Chipstead, where a seat bears her name.
Aged 60, she took an Open University degree in humanities. And as recently as autumn, she was learning French and how to use a laptop.
A thanksgiving service will be held at 3pm on Tuesday at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium, Crawley.