A FORMER singer who was wife to speed icon Donald Campbell has died.

Tonia Bern-Campbell was a member of the team that supported Mr Campbell as he smashed multiple absolute world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s.

Mr Campbell eventually died during a record attempt in a hydroplane on Coniston Water in 1967, after which Ms Bern-Campbell returned to her singing career.

She died peacefully at her home in Palm Springs, California, on June 14.

Her exact date of birth is unknown - it was recorded incorrectly on her passport - but it is believed she was 93 years old at the time of her death.

She was, it is understood, born in 1927. Her father was hotelier Antoine Beun, owner of the Carlton in Belgium.

During her teenage years, French singer and entertainer Maurice Chevalier encouraged her to enter a talent contest, which she won.

One of the judges of this contest was Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel, who went on to coach her in singing.

Ms Bern-Campbell would make a guest appearance on The Jack Benny Program and star in a film alongside Mr Chevalier.

She won the Passerella d’Oro award for best musical performance for a stage production in Italy and performed throughout the world.

She had also spent three years studying acting at the Conservatoire Royale in Brussels as a youth, and went on to perform in prestigious venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and The Savoy Hotel in London.

It was while performing at the Savoy in December 1958 that she met Mr Campbell. They married a few days later at Caxton Hall, London.

She put a temporary hold on her singing career and accompanied Mr Campbell on many of his record attempts.

After his death in 1967, she returned to her singing career, emigrating to America and living in the mountains above Los Angeles.

Ms Bern-Campbell continued to perform at top theatres and cabaret clubs around the world until she was in her late 80s, and appeared many times on the Val Doonican and Benny Hill shows.

She married English comedian and actor Bill Maynard in 1989. The pair divorced in 1998.

It was her wish to have her ashes scattered on Coniston Water so that she could be reunited with Mr Campbell, who is buried beside the lake.

She leaves behind stepdaughter Gina, three nephews, two great-nephews and a great-niece.