Dora Bryan dead: Absolutely Fabulous and Last of the Summer Wine actress dies aged 91

Her thespian career began after she starred in a pantomime ahead of the outbreak of the Second World War

Dora Bryan, the actress who starred in Absolutely Fabulous and Last of the Summer Wine, has died.

She was 91.

The Brighton-based actress was born in Parbold near Wigan in Lancashire in 1923.

Her thespian career began after she starred in a pantomime in Manchester as a child ahead of the outbreak of the Second World War.

During the war, she joined the ENSA in Italy to entertain the waiting British troops.

Known for her trademark distinctive speaking voice, she left the stage for the silver screen, and went on to star in films A Taste Of Honey (1961), MirrorMask (2005) and Apartment Zero (1988).

 

Bryan was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1995 for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in “The Birthday Party”.

She was made an O.B.E. for her services to drama in 1996.

In 1999, Bryan made a special appearance in Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies. Then, in 2000, she joined the cast of BBC comedy Last of the Summer Wine, taking on the role of Aunt Roz Utterthwaite.

In 2001, she made a guest appearance in Absolutely Fabulous as June Whitefield’s on-screen friend, Dolly, for which she received a BAFTA nomination.

She was married to former cricketer Bill Lawton until he died after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2008.

They had been married since 1954 after meeting in Oldham.

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