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Moving letter from Benedict Cumberbatch read at teen fan's funeral

Benedict Cumberbatch may not have gone home with an Oscar on Sunday night, but we think he's an award-winning human anyway.

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Benedict Cumberbatch.

After hearing that one of his biggest fans, 14-year-old Eve Shepherd, had died, the "Sherlock" star sent a moving letter to her family and apologized for missing her funeral. "I wish I could be there, but sadly am filming the show she loved," he wrote.

"I send my deepest sympathies to Eve's family," the letter read. "To lose someone so young who fought for her health all her life must be beyond endurance. I hope they can take solace from the fact that she was clearly much loved and her support of our show is hugely appreciated and shall be remembered."

The letter was read aloud during Shepherd's service in Warrington, UK on Monday.

"It was absolutely unbelievable," Eve's father Mark told People magazine. "For him to have spent time to write to us and to comfort us in such a very difficult time is incredible."

Eve had been born premature and required a tracheostomy at just three months old, the family explained to the Warrington Guardian. Over the years, she underwent over 200 operations. She'd received a signed picture from Cumberbatch before her death, with a note that wished her well and said he'd like to meet her, her father reported.

She was such a big fan of "Sherlock" that the procession as guests left the church following the service included a playing of the show's theme tune.

Noted her father, the publicity from the actor's letter would have amused his daughter. "Eve would find this funny as she was a big TV and film fan. She would be giggling her head off at the thought she was in the newspaper. But she would be so happy about the letter from Benedict — she was a huge fan."

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