Una Stubbs death: Sherlock and Worzel Gummidge star dies aged 84

Actor, who had been ill for several months, died at home in Edinburgh surrounded by her family

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 12 August 2021 15:27
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Actor Una Stubbs, known for her roles in TV series such as Worzel Gummidge, Sherlock and EastEnders, has died at the age of 84.

Her agent said she died at home in Edinburgh, surrounded by her family. They told BBC News she had been ill for several months.

In a statement, her sons Joe and Christian Henson and Jason Gilmore said: “Mum passed away quietly today with her family around her, in Edinburgh. We ask for privacy and understanding at this most difficult and sad of times.”

Stubbs, who was born in Hertfordshire and started out as a dancer, rose to fame in the 1960s when she starred alongside Cliff Richard in Summer Holiday, and appeared in the films Swingers’ Paradise and Three Hats for Lisa. That same decade, she was cast in the sitcom Till Death Do Us Part.

Speaking to The Independent about the popularity of Till Death Do Us Part in 2013, Stubbs said: “The police always knew when we were on. Everyone stayed home. We had 23 million viewers a week.”

In the years since, Stubbs was rarely off-screen. More recently, she won new generations of fans as Mrs Hudson, the caring landlady of 221B and 221C Baker Street in the BBC series Sherlock, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

She also appeared as Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge and Miss Bat in The Worst Witch, and had roles in EastEnders, Call the Midwife and Midsomer Murders.

Una Stubbs with her ‘Sherlock’ co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Lara Pulver

Stubbs also had a successful stage career, having starred in Noël Coward’s Star Quality with Penelope Keith in 2001 and Friedrich Schiller‘s Don Carlos with Derek Jacobi in 2005. In recent years she has appeared in La Cage Aux Folles at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Pygmalion at the Theatre Royal, Bath and Old Vic and The Family Reunion at the Donmar Warehouse.

She was in the original cast of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the National Theatre in 2012.

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In 2013, Stubbs appeared on the BBC’s genealogy show Who Do you Think You Are? and discovered her fascinating ancestry: her great-grandfather was Ebenezer Howard, pioneer of the utopian new towns and advocate of international language Esperanto.

In addition to her work as an actor, Stubbs was also a keen painter who had her work displayed at the Royal Academy in London.

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