Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 March 2015

Screen veteran Dora Bryan dies

Actress Dora Bryan has died at the age of 91
Actress Dora Bryan has died at the age of 91

Dora Bryan, who was known for roles in TV's Last Of The Summer Wine and classic British movies like A Taste Of Honey, has died at the age of 91.

The actress, who was still performing into her 80s, had been living in a nursing home in Hove, East Sussex, in recent years as her health deteriorated.

Her friend and manager David Hill, who confirmed her death, said: "She was razor-sharp with an incredible brain. You were always aware when you were with her that she had been a big star. Dora was very quick-witted and very funny."

Dora was known to many TV viewers for the five years she spent playing Ros Utterthwaite in BBC One sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine in the twilight of her career, bowing out in 2005.

But during her half century career she took on dozens of other roles appearing on radio in Hancock's Half Hour, in popular TV shows, cinematic hits and on stage, even earning an Olivier award for best supporting actress in 1995 for her performance in The Birthday Party.

Dora, who had become wheelchair-bound, is believed to have died on July 23.

She was born in Southport, Lancashire, and honed her skills as a performer during the Second World War with Ensa, the armed forces entertainment group.

Dora was encouraged to change her original surname of Broadbent by Noel Coward while working in a production of Private Lives, which he wrote.

Film roles included a Carry On film, plus British classics such as The Blue Lamp and The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery.

The actress, renowned for her comic abilities, also appeared in Absolutely Fabulous and had guest roles in Casualty and Heartbeat.

Her husband, the former cricketer Bill Lawton to whom she had been married for 54 years, died in 2008 as a result of Alzheimer's.

Among those paying tribute was comedian Jenny Eclair who said: " I met Dora Bryan backstage at Theatre, Royal Brighton - she was hilarious within 10 seconds."

Lionel Blair wrote online: " So very sad to hear of the passing of my good friend Dora Bryan. She was wonderful."

A g ala charity show was staged in her honour at Her Majesty's Theatre in London in 2009 which featured Sir Cliff Richard with guests such as June Whitfield, Rita Tushingham - with whom she had appeared in A Taste Of Honey - and Joanna Lumley.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


This isn't a good time to gamble. Even if an investment seems like a sure thing, it could undermine your financial security. Keep your money safe in the bank. If a loved one is clamouring to make a big purchase, sit down together and review your bank account. Once your partner sees the truth of the situation, they'll feel less compelled to splash out on luxuries. This shortage will be temporary, as long as you exercise restraint during lean times. Getting into serious debt will make a tough situation worse.More