Film-maker to finish lasting tribute to wife

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A FILM-maker is to complete the last project featuring his wife before she died of cancer in tribute to her.

Melanie Dale Sanford died aged 37 after battling breast cancer since 2004. But her widower Tony Sanford, of Titchfield Road, Titchfield, is determined to complete the film Miranda's Room so the world can see her last work.

Melanie was a keen actress who performed in numerous local productions, including two Shakespeare plays for the Titchfield Festival Theatre and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the Groundlings at the Kings Theatre in Southsea.

She had also appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Tony said: 'She was the kind of person you couldn't say anything bad about. She was a bit of a dynamo - she kept going all day, every day.

'As an actress she prepared meticulously for any role so she was a joy to work with.'

Melanie, who died on December 6, had undergone six bouts of chemotherapy and had a lumpectomy during her treatment.

Tony added: 'She appeared to be the picture of health until she was taken ill six days before she passed away.'

Miranda's Room was written by the couple, and intertwines the story of Joan of Arc with a modern tale about an actress who suddenly withdraws from her profession to fight cancer.

Tony, who has a 10-year-old daughter, Leah, with his wife, added: 'It is autobiographical in a sense. It's a story about chasing a cure through these alternative therapies and all these charlatans - they're some of the people we came across ourselves.'

He added: 'We had filmed all of the Joan story and most of the modern story, but I don't know yet how I'm going to finish it off.'

The completed film is expected to be released on melaniedalesanford.co.uk. The website will also feature Melanie's journal, Seeing Red, which details her experiences with the illness.