SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: South Africa-born Beckett was living in a caravan in a Carmelite monastery in Norfolk, east England, when she started studying art in the 1980s.

She was spotted by a film crew at an exhibition and commissioned  to make a 1992 documentary – “Sister Wendy’s Odyssey” – about paintings and sculpture in six British museums.

She continued to make programs for the next decade, speaking directly to the camera while wearing her black nun’s habit and winning fans in Britain and in the United States, where the programs aired on public television.