UPDATED: 28/12/2016, 19.40
THE cousin of Hollywood star Kim Cattrall today recalled her Christmas Day shock on a visit to her mother’s grave in a Liverpool cemetery.
Michelle Cox told how a familiar family headstone, at Wavertree's Holy Trinity church, had been replaced with a brand new one bearing the name of the Sex And The City actress - inscribed underneath with the legend “Liverpool’s Cleopatra”.
The name of Miss Cattrall’s late father, Dennis, has also been added to the stone.
Ms Cox, a nurse, said the discovery has opened up old wounds she says spilt the family many years ago.
She added that she has yet to get to the bottom of how a headstone has appeared containing the name of the Liverpool-born star who emigrated as a child, with her family, to Canada.
However in a recent interview, widely circulated in a number of national newspapers, Miss Cattrall described how there was a headstone in Liverpool “waiting with my name, my birthdate and then a dash and space for the date of my death”.
The star, who turned 60 this year, revealed: “It’s a family grave and there is space left for me – so I know wherever it happens I’m going to end up in Liverpool.”
That report did not prepare Ms Cox or her sister, Diane, for what she found on her Christmas Day visit to the graveyard, which sits alongside the Bluecoat School in Wavertree.
Instead, she says, the old gravestone had gone and in its place was a new version to which had been added Kim Cattrall’s name and birth date, as well as that of the actress’s dad, Dennis (Ms Cox’s uncle), who died in 2012.
Ms Cox told Liverpool Confidential: "I am trying to get to the bottom of how this has happened and I have been in touch with the church to try to find out the details.
“I contacted the rector of Holy Trinity, Canon Janet Eastwood, on Christmas Day and she very kindly responded immediately. She told me she will look into this, but because of the holidays it could take a few days.”
She added: “Even though Kim's dad and my mum were brother and sister I have never spoken to Kim in my life. I don't even know how to contact her to ask her about this.
"I went to the cemetery on Christmas Day just to spend time where my mother was resting. I go there quite a few times a year, especially on her birthday, Mother's Day and at Christmas.
“As I was approaching the grave I realised something was wrong. The old headstone had been removed and in its place was a new one containing the name of my uncle, Kim's dad, as well as Kim’s, showing her birth year as 1956, but with space to add, at some time, a year of death.
“Underneath the name ‘Kim Victoria’ were the words ‘The Liverpool Cleopatra’. I was stunned and have not been able to get this off my mind ever since.”
The Cleopatra reference is thought to hark back to the actress's appearance in Antony and Cleopatra at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2010.
Already buried in the grave are William David Cattrall (1899-1939) and his wife, Edith May (1900-1950), who are both Michelle and Kim’s grandparents.
Then there is Edna May, Michelle’s mother (Kim’s aunt), who was buried in the plot when she died in 1985. There is also one of Edna’s children, David Wilfred, who was just a year old when he died in 1965.
The new stone then contains the names Dennis William (1925 – 2012) and Kim Victoria, although Dennis is believed to have been cremated.
Ms Cox added: "The family relationship with my mum broke down when she and my dad, who was from Barbados, started their relationship. When my mum died, when I was 18, she was buried in the grave in Wavertree. Before Dad died he had decided he wanted to be buried in his native Barbados. I always felt that because my dad had arranged Mum’s funeral he held the rights to the grave in Wavertree and on his death they would automatically pass to me and the last remaining plot would be for me or my sister.
"I am still trying to find out what the legal status of the grave is, but even so I think whoever arranged for the new headstone should have consulted me. I’ve never before heard of someone else's name being put on the gravestone in this way.”
Liverpool-born actress Kim Cattrall told newspapers earlier this month that in Liverpool there is 'a headstone waiting with my name, my birthdate and then a dash and space for the date of my death'
Miss Cattrall revealed her posthumous intentions earlier this month in interviews ahead of her appearance in the television drama Witness For The Prosecution which was aired over Christmas. Some of the scenes were shot in Liverpool.
One report in the Daily Mirror stated: “Such is Kim’s family connection to the city, she wants to be laid to rest in Liverpool when her time comes.
She says: “It’s where I went to school as a kid. It was a very enriching, life-altering experience going back there. It’s where I want to go and rest when this fantastic ride is over – I feel biblical about it.
“There is a headstone waiting with my name, my birthdate and then a dash and space for the date of my death.
“It’s a family grave and there is space left for me. So I know wherever it happens, I’m going to end up in Liverpool. Liverpool keeps coming back and changing my life.”
Kim Cattrall's first cousins, Diane Curry Cox, left, and Michelle Cox, at the grave in Wavertree today (Picture, Larry Neild)
The churchyard at Holy Trinity dates back as far as the church - over 200 years. The church website says the graveyard is now closed for new graves, but families are allowed to bury people there if there are spaces in existing graves. It also states that since April 1st 2002 the churchyard has been maintained by Liverpool City Council.
In a Facebook posting, Ms Cox says: “When the time comes, do you know where you will be laid to rest? Death is a difficult conversation to have with your family but one I encourage you to have. I always thought I would be buried with my dear mum, and if my sister died before me then she would be buried there.”
Liverpool Confidential approached Miss Cattrall’s publicists for comment and we later received the following statement via a third party.
"In 2010, Kim Cattrall was doing a play at the Liverpool Playhouse and she reached out to make arrangements for herself and her ailing father to be buried in the family plot at Wavertree's Holy Trinity Church, Liverpool.
"Her father passed away in 2012 and per his wishes his ashes were placed with his parents and sister in the family grave. A new headstone was commissioned to include her father's and her name. It was finally put up before Christmas.
"Kim Cattrall was not aware or informed of any relations with the Cox family and the Cattrall family plot."