She’s known for her scorching on-screen performances, but Kate Winslet will forever be remembered by Richard Branson’s family for her heroism after she rescued the entrepreneur’s mum from a blaze on Necker Island.

The Oscar winner was holidaying on Branson’s Balinese hideaway when a lightning storm struck the compound in the wee hours of Monday morning and set it on fire.

Writing on his blog on, Branson’s said: “We had a tropical storm with winds up to 90mph. A big lightning storm came around 4am and hit the house. My son Sam and nephew Jack rushed to the house and helped get everyone out and many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90 year old mum out of the main house to safety - she was wondering when a Director was going to shout CUT!”

Fortunately it seems nobody was injured in the fire. “The main house is destroyed and the fire is not yet completely out,” Branson continued. “My office was based in the house and I have lost thousands of photographs and my note book which is very sad. But all family and friends are well – which in the end is all that really matters.”

And there was laughter amid the tears. “But there were also lots of giggles,” the tycoon added, “not least when I tried to get some sympathy for the fact that I’d jumped out of bed naked and rushed to the Great House in pitch darkness and hurricane force winds and ran straight in to a cactus bush – the sympathy was not forthcoming for my injuries!”

Winslet can expect plenty more heat next month when she jets into the Lido to promote her roles in Roman Polanski’s aptly titled Carnage and Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion.