‘She spent her life caring for the people she loved’: Neighbour’s tribute to Peter Cook’s widow Lin
'Brave and fiercely independent' Lin Cook passed away aged 71
10 December, 2016 — By Ella Jessel
Peter Cook and, below, Lin Cook with Robert Powell in 2004
TRIBUTES have been paid to Lin Cook, the “brave and fiercely independent” widow of comedy star Peter, who died last week aged 71.
Lin Cook, who lived in Perrin’s Lane, Hampstead, passed away just days after the release of a new film where she gave TV producers unprecedented access into the comedian’s life.
Born Lin Chong in Malaysia in 1945, she was a successful businesswoman who devoted her time to caring for her daughter Nina, who had severe learning difficulties. She met Peter Cook in the Hertfordshire home of Playboy boss Victor Lownes in 1982 when he drunkenly interrupted a game of backgammon.
After discovering they were neighbours in Hampstead they became friends and eventually lovers.
Their short marriage was tempestuous but loving and Lin was devastated when he passed away aged just 57 following a gastrointestinal haemorrhage.
Linda Chung, who became friends with Lin through her work as a councillor in Hampstead, met her shortly after as she struggled to juggle her grief while caring for her daughter.
Ms Chung said: “She was the sort of person who came for help but then felt she was taking advantage of our friendship and my position. We became friends but she was alway reticent to ask for help though I assured her that was what I was there for. She was brave, fiercely independent, gentle, kind and thought more about others than herself.”
After Cook died, Lin was accused, wrongly she said, of trying to sell her 40 per cent stake in Private Eye magazine which Cook had founded, to Mohamed Al Fayed, one of the magazine’s enemies.
For an intensely private person, the media attention and furore surrounding Cook’s death was hard to handle.
Ms Chung said: “She spent her life caring for the people she loved – her daughter and Peter Cook. She had so many battles to fight, and she simply wanted peace and quiet. She had her life sorted and was a successful woman when she met Peter. They were happy, but once Peter died, not only was it an enormous unbelievable loss for her, she had to cope with his lasting fame. I shall never forget how lovely she was.”