Charlottle Blackledge, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mandy Rice-Davies at the launch of Stephen Ward
Charlottle Blackledge, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mandy Rice-Davies at the launch of Stephen Ward
© Dan Wooller

Mandy Rice-Davies, one of the key players in the Profumo Affair that formed the basis of Andrew Lloyd Webber's recent musical Stephen Ward, has died from cancer aged 70.

Rice-Davies rose to prominence as the flatmate of Christine Keeler, whose affair with MP John Profumo prompted his resignation in 1963 and contributed to the downfall of Harold Macmillan's government.

She shared her memories of the affair with Lloyd Webber while he was writing Stephen Ward, and attended the launch of the show at the Box Club in Soho last year.

Ward was a 'society osteopath' who introduced Profumo to Keeler and became a scapegoat for the affair. Rice-Davies testified at Ward's trial, during which he ended his life. Her response to the information that Lord Astor had denied an affair with her - "well he would, wouldn't he?" - became legendary.

She was played by the actress Charlotte Blackledge in Stephen Ward.