Howards' Way star Dulcie Gray leaves Africa orphan thousands in her will
21:50 GMT, 11 August 2012
Generous: Dulcie Gray has bequeathed thousands to the boy who she has supported
Howards' Way star Dulcie Gray left a touching legacy to an African orphan she supported for 20 years in her 1 million will.
Ms Gray, who died aged 95, last November, never had any children with actor husband Michael Denison, who died in 1998. Instead, they started sponsoring five-year-old Kenyan boy Silas Ogut in 1988.
They paid 20 a month for him to go to school in the Kenyan capital Nairobi through the charity SOS Children’s Villages, which provides homes for 78,000 orphaned or abandoned children in 125 countries.
Ms Gray, best known to TV viewers for playing Kate Harvey in the Eighties yachting drama, kept up the monthly payments until Silas left the care of the charity in 2008 after receiving a diploma in food and beverage studies.
She remembered him in her will by putting 5,000 in a trust fund to be paid at the rate of 1,000 a year or more at the discretion of her executors.
The will, drawn up in 2002, also left 5,000 to benefit other children in his Children’s SOS Village.
Dulcie Gray and Micheal Denison paid 20 a month to ensure that the orphan could go to school
Silas, now 29, said last night: ‘Ms Gray came to Kenya once when I was about ten. She was a very nice lady.
'She wrote letters to me, asking how my school work was going. The money made it possible for me to have a good education. Now I plan to set up my own business.’
The gifts were among legacies of 163,000 that Ms Gray, who first found fame in the Forties, left to good causes.
Nairobi: The couple's generosity meant Silas could move to a school in the Kenyan capital
Her great niece, Katie Savage-Bailey, 45, said: ‘She sometimes used to speak about this lad she was supporting in Kenya.
‘It doesn’t surprise me that she wanted to carry on helping him.’
A spokeswoman for SOS Children’s Villages said: ‘A lot of our sponsors get quite attached to the children they support and it sounds as if Ms Gray built up a relationship with him.’