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Sorrow of movie star Kate as her lover dies; Cancer kills former boyfriend.

Titanic star Kate Winslet is heartbroken after the love of her life died from cancer.

Kate, 22, Britain's hottest female movie star, is secretly grieving for actor-writer Stephen Tredre, 34, who died just before Christmas.

His unexpected death was the reason Kate failed to show at the US premiere of her latest movie.

Doctors had told EastEnders scriptwriter Stephen just two months earlier he was beating the disease.

Movie publicists refused to reveal why Kate was not there to launch the pounds 125million epic - the most expensive film ever made - in Hollywood on December 14.

Co-star Leonardo DiCaprio let slip: "Kate's dealing with a tragedy."

She wanted to stay in England for the funeral. Stephen, who started dating Kate when she was only 15, died on December 8.

A family pal said: "Kate was shocked and heartbroken when she was told he had died.

"They had stopped dating two years earlier, after four years together, but were incredibly close.

"What made it so painful was that doctors had told Stephen his bone cancer had gone into remission.

"Like Kate, he had everything to live for and then he died. It hit Kate very hard."

Last night, Kate's mum, Sally Winslet, would only say: "Kate is very upset about this. Her heart is broken."

The couple met seven years ago on the set of the ill-fated BBC sitcom, Get Back.

Even though Stephen was 13 years older than Kate, love blossomed and soon they were living together.

Stephen, who gave up acting when he was diagnosed with cancer, helped build the aspiring actress's confidence.

Kate, who had been cruelly nicknamed Blubber at school as she weighed 13 stones, slimmed to nine stones.

After they split in 1995, Kate said: "Stephen was with me all the time - he was the other half of my soul.

"I had an absolutely extraordinary relationship with him. My dear, former boyfriend will always be an incredible love of my life.

"It wasn't as if I just turned round and left him. Our relationship reached a friendly end and we stayed close.

"He was never anything but absolutely supportive. So much of my work couldn't have happened without him."

Kate has remained single since the bust-up apart from a three month fling with heart-throb actor Rufus Sewell, star of Cold Comfort Farm.

She apparently told her family: "Losing Stephen has been a major eye- opener.

"It's made me realise fame and fortune are great but losing a loved one can shatter the brightest of dreams."

Kate from Reading, Berkshire, is one of four children. Her parents, Roger, a struggling actor, and Sally were forever skint.

She once recalled: "I didn't have a bedroom of my own and I was lucky if I got 50p to buy sweets on a Saturday."

Kate's big movie break came in Heavenly Creatures. Then, she landed a part in Emma Thompson's Sense And Sensibility. Roles in Jude and Hamlet sealed her reputation.

Offers flooded in from Hollywood. But after signing up for Titanic, Kate put everything else on hold, even turning down pounds 1million film contracts.

Kate has recently bought her own flat in London which she shares with two girl pals.

Now, with Titanic about to open in Britain, all Kate wants to do is paint her flat and go backpacking in Tibet.
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:North, Nic; Quinn, Thomas
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 2, 1998
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