Her agent, Caroline de Wolfe, released a statement confirming the news about the My Family actress, revealing she died following an illness.
“It is with great sadness I must report the news that Rosemary Leach died in hospital yesterday, Saturday 21st October, after a short illness,” the statement read.
The Olivier Award winning actress starred as Grace in My Family, and also played the part of Barbara Rush in Holby City, and Dorothy Plum in Heartbeat.
She also appeared in movies A Room With A View, The Children, The Hawk and Mission London.
She was born in Shropshire and attended RADA, before shooting to fame on TV boardroom drama The Power Game, where she played Susan Wheldon.
The actress was best known for her TV and movie roles, renowned for her performance in That Will Be The Day.
Former Coronation Street and Cold Feet actress Melanie Hughes has died, aged 39, on 8 October [Rick Hughes/Twitter]
She also played Mrs Honeychurch, the mother of Helena Bonham Carter’s character, in the 1985 Oscar-winning film A Room With A View.
Rosemary won an Olivier Award for her role in the play 84 Charing Cross Road.
She is survived by her husband Colin Starkey.
Many fans took to Twitter to shared their condolences, with one writing: “R.I.P to the beautiful and amazing Rosemary Leach who has passed away today aged 81 xx.”
“It is a day for goodbyes. I have fond memories of Rosemary Leach. Very chatty, down to earth lady & great actress. RIP,” another wrote, while a third added: “Truly sad to say adieu to our much loved Rosemary Leach who died after a short illness. Rosemary; award winning actress & wonderful woman.”