Shock in Hollywood as Big Bang Theory actress dies

Actress Carol Ann Susi, best known for her role as Mrs. Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory, has died after a short battle with cancer. She was 62.

Howard Wolowitz's tactless mother was a much-loved character on the show, but viewers only ever heard her loud Brooklyn accent shouting from different ends of the house – though they were once treated to a sneak glimpse:

Big Bang Theory producers Chuck Lorre, Steve Molaro and Bill Prady released a touching statement about Carol's death and the work she had done on the show. "Unseen by viewers, the Mrs. Wolowitz character became a bit of a mystery throughout the show's eight seasons," read the message.

"What was not a mystery, however, was Carol Ann's immense talent and comedic timing, which were on display during each unforgettable appearance. In addition to her talent, Carol Ann was a constant source of joy and kindness to all. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family during this time, and we will miss her greatly."

Some of the show's cast members also took to social media to express their sadness at Carol's passing:

As well as The Big Bang Theory, the actress appeared in a huge number of other shows during her 40-year career, including Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, That ’70s Show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Seinfeld.