A former West End singer and dancer, who lived in her home in Merton Park for 70 years, has died.

Roma Cecilia Hazel King (nee Hodson), of Sandringham Avenue, died aged 78 at St George’s Hospital, in Tooting, on June 1.

Born in Brixton to Sidney Benjamin Hodson and Cecilia, Roma was christened after her aunt – the West End star Roma Beaumont.

Coming from a theatrical family, she entered showbusiness as a teenager, appearing in musicals Love From Judy, Summer Song and Lilac Time.

Sadly her last few months were blighted by burglary after thieves stole her precious heirlooms while on holiday.

After police failed to catch the culprits, she appealed to Wimbledon Guardian readers for help after £20,000 worth of jewellery was stolen.

She said: “I was away two weeks before I came home to find out I had been burgled.

“I was given a beautiful necklace for my 21st bought from the Burlington Arcade in Piccadilly that must be worth £1,000.

“My christening gift of a coral necklace was also stolen with graduated beads – they probably didn’t even know what they were.

“They took a lot of things but it’s still coming back into my mind what was taken.

“I’ve had three strokes so I’m not as bright as I was.”

Among the items stolen was her son’s silver christening cup and a coral necklace given to her at her christening in 1934.

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Roma King (1934-2013)

Ms King married theatre lighting technician Peter King in 1958, after meeting while performing at the London Palladium where he worked, but the couple divorced a few years later.

She retired from showbusiness in 1960 and gave birth to her only son Martin – who died in 2011.

Roma’s last performance was at last month’s Festival Fringe in Brighton, where she gave an impromptu reading of her memoirs.
Her funeral will take place on June 17 at 2.40pm at the crematorium at Putney Vale Cemetery.

Donations in Roma’s memory can be sent to the British Heart Foundation.