Although Emma Chambers passed away from a suspected heart attack, it's been revealed she suffered from chronic allergies her whole life.
The 53-year-old, who was best known for her long-running role as Alice Tinker in The Vicar of Dibley, suffered from asthma and could not be in contact with animals without breaking into a severe allergic reaction.
In a 2002 interview with The Telegraph, Chambers spoke about her debilitating illness and how she nearly died after she came in contact with a cat.
'I had to dash up to wardrobe, I had to leave. I was itching, wheezy. My voice was husky the next day — from being in here for a few minutes — and I looked horrendous,' she explained. 'So the poor cat had to go — it was either the actress or the cat. What a diva I am!'
The Notting Hill actress was diagnosed with the illness at the age of eight but said she struggled as others failed to take her allergies 'seriously'.
'People don’t take it seriously. My mother would just say, ‘Get on with it’. There was no understanding of how chronic allergies can be,' she said.
In addition to steroid injections as a form of treatment for her allergies, Chambers also endured acupuncture every 10 days to provide relief for her severe eczema.
Her co-star Dawn French paid tribute to her friend following her death.
'Emma was a very bright spark and the most loyal and loving friend anyone could wish for,' Dawn said. 'I will miss her very much.'