Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed his devastation following the ‘horrible’ death of his sister, who recently died of cancer.
The Sherlock star, 45, revealed for the first time that his elder and ‘brilliant’ sibling Tracy Peacock, 62, lost a seven-year battle with the disease.
It was not known to the public that the artist, affectionately known as ‘Tracks’, had even been ill, let alone passed away.
‘She died of cancer,’ said Cumberbatch, ‘She’d been battling it for seven years.’
The Harrow-educated actor, who stars in the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster Spider-Man: No Way Home, added: ‘As the greatly awful Donald Rumsfeld said, “stuff happens”. It’s horrible.
‘She was nothing to do with this world. She was markedly different.
Benedict Cumberbatch, 45, revealed for the first time that his elder and ‘brilliant’ sibling Tracy Peacock, 62, has lost a seven-year battle with cancer (pictured together)
‘She was a brilliant fine artist but ended up doing a lot of restorative work on canvas and on frames and carpentry.
‘But still kept her hand in and did her own work and made the most Christmas and celebratory cards of any kind of festival. She was very gifted.’
Tracy was the daughter of Cumberbatch’s actress mother, Wanda Ventham, from her first marriage to James Tabernacle.
When Wanda married Cumberbatch’s father, Timothy Carlton, teenager Tracy stayed with her mother, so grew up with the future star.
Tracy would often look after her baby brother, and once accidentally left him too long on a freezing rooftop after placing him there to calm him down.
‘She forgot about me,’ he recalled, affectionately.
‘I mean, it was funny. She was in the kitchen with her friends and she suddenly saw the snow falling through the window.’
Tracy was the daughter of Cumberbatch’s actress mother, Wanda Ventham, from her first marriage to James Tabernacle (Pictured: Cumberbatch on set of Sherlock with Martin Freeman)
Tracy spoke on her brother’s behalf following his 2012 split from his fashion designer girlfriend Anna Jones, explaining why he used to struggle to find potential suitors.
‘You would have to be a pretty smart cookie to keep up with him,’ she said, ‘I think that is why possibly he has trouble with girlfriends.’
Cumberbatch has since married theatre director Sophie Hunter, with whom he has three children.
Tracy leaves behind a husband and a 34-year-old daughter, Emily.
Cumberbatch is currently starring as a cowboy in the Netflix film The Power Of The Dog.
During a press tour for the film last month, he claimed ‘we need to fix the behaviour of men’ as he called for the end of toxic masculinity.
Cumberbatch plays charismatic rancher Phil Burbank – who inspires fear and awe in those around him – and used a promotional interview to explain the importance of exploring such topics.
The Sherlock star made the comments while advertising his latest film, Power of the Dog, an adaptation of a novel by Thomas Savage
Cumberbatch plays charismatic rancher Phil Burbank – who inspires fear and awe in those around him – and used a promotional interview to explain the importance of exploring such topics
He told Sky News: ‘We need to fix the behaviour of men. You have to kind of lift the lid on the engine a little bit.
‘I think it’s ever relevant, and in a world that’s questioning and ripping into and finally pointing out the inadequacies of the status quo and the patriarchy, it’s even more important.
‘You get this sort of rebellion aspect, this denial, this sort of childish defensive position of ‘not all men are bad’. No, we just have to shut up and listen.
‘There is not enough recognition of abuse, there’s not enough recognition of disadvantages and, at the same time, somewhere along the line – maybe not now, but somewhere along the line – we need to do maybe what the film does as well, which is examine the reason behind the oppressive behaviour to fix the men.’