Belonging actress hanged herself during bout of depression — (Wales Online)

To view original article click here

Wales Online

By Gareth Evans

00:00, 10 DEC 2009   Updated14:53, 28 MAR 2013

BELONGING actress Stephanie Parker hanged herself in a bout of depression, an inquest heard yesterday.

But a coroner said the 22-year-old’s actions may have been a “cry for help” rather than a suicide attempt.

Ms Parker, who lived in Rhydyfelin, near Pontypridd, with her parents, was found on open ground near the Taff Trail on April 18.

Her mother Fiona said she had been suffering from depression which started after she was bullied at school.

Mrs Parker told Aberdare Coroner’s Court: “She was a Jekyll and Hyde character who was perfectly fine sometimes but in a rage when she didn’t take her medication.

“She would get really angry. She wouldn’t listen to anyone and was completely irrational.

“You couldn’t talk to her nor reason with her. She would completely close down.”

Ms Parker’s seven years in Belonging came to an end when the BBC Wales series finished shortly before her death.

The former Hawthorn High School student also appeared on Casualty and BBC Radio 4 dramas.

Although born Stephanie McMaster, she was known by the name .

She grew up in Brighton and Weston-super-Mare before moving to South Wales with her parents, Andrew and Fiona, at the age of 13.

Two years later she won a part in the drama Belonging, alongside Torchwood actress Eve Myles, playing the role of Stacey Weaver.

At the time of her death, Bethan Jones, Belonging’s executive producer, said Ms Parker’s talent had won her a bigger role in the show.

“She was a great girl and a really good actress,” she said in April. “She came in at 15 and had a small part, but the writers really loved her and she had such an impact that they gave her a bigger and bigger part and she became a core part of the series, very much part of the Belonging family.

“She kept us on our toes and was great fun to be around.”

Her neighbourhood was rocked by the news, and friends paid tribute described her “happy-go-lucky” personality and “infectious smile”.

Best friend Emma Adamiec, of Rhydyfelin, whom she met on their first day of school, said she was not only a talented actress but also an excellent singer.

“Everyone has been saying what a talented actress she was, but people don’t realise what a great singer she was too,” she said at the time. “She taught herself how to play the piano and guitar and she also used to write her own songs.”

Ms Parker’s mother told the inquest yesterday that acting was a “part-time profession” for her daughter, adding: “She tried to hold down office jobs but left within a few weeks because she got bored easily.”

Aside from her acting commitments, Ms Parker had worked at the Bowlplex in Nantgarw, before trying her hand as an accounts manager at a Cardiff call centre.