Belfast Telegraph

Last Of The Summer Wine actress Jean Fergusson dies at 74

The actress appeared in the long-running sitcom for 25 years.

Last Of The Summer Wine actress Jean Fergusson dies (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
Last Of The Summer Wine actress Jean Fergusson dies (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Last Of The Summer Wine star Jean Fergusson, known for playing the feisty Marina, has died at the age of 74.

Fergusson, described as “the life and soul of any gathering”, died at home on Thursday morning.

With an acting career spanning more than 50 years, she was best known for playing Marina in the long-running sitcom from 1985 until it ended in 2010.

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Jean Fergusson (Scott Marshall Partners Ltd)

She was also known for appearing in Coronation Street as Dorothy Hoyle from 2010 until 2011.

A statement from her agents, Scott Marshall Partners, said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of actress Jean Fergusson, known to millions as flirtatious Marina in the long running BBC comedy Last Of The Summer Wine.

“Jean was a much-loved and respected actress, a brilliant comedienne, raconteur, and the life and soul of any gathering. She will be much missed by her many friends and colleagues.

“Jean passed away, at home, in the early hours of Thursday November 14.

“She is survived by her beloved sister Marjorie, brother-in-law Roger and her nephews Daniel and William.”

‘Allo ‘Allo! actress Vicki Michelle paid tribute to Fergusson, sharing a picture of the two of them together on Twitter.

She wrote: “Shocked & saddened to hear Jean Fergusson has passed Lovely lady, fabulous actress. Saw her Sunday at #SuPollard’s birthday, said she wasn’t feeling well. @benstockbiz and I planned to take her out next week.

“Can’t believe she’s gone #LastoftheSummerWine #SheKnowsYouKnow #Corrie.”

Fergusson’s death comes just over a month after the death of her Last Of The Summer Wine co-star Juliette Kaplan, who played battleaxe Pearl Sibshaw.

Kaplan was 80 when she died from cancer in October.

Wakefield-born actress Fergusson was familiar in households across the UK for her role as the opinionated and attractive Marina in the popular BBC comedy series, which ran from 1973 until 2010 and was set in the Yorkshire Dales.

She joined the sitcom in 1985 as the peroxide blonde love interest of Howard Sibshaw (Robert Fyfe), the pair conducting their affair behind his wife Pearl’s back.

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Jean Fergusson in Last Of The Summer Wine (BBC)

Fergusson first played the character in a stage version of the show in 1984 before joining the TV series.

Prior to starring in Corrie as Dorothy Hoyle, which saw her involved in a kidnapping storyline, she had previously appeared in two minor roles in the soap in 1987 and 1999.

Away from the small screen, Fergusson enjoyed a successful career on the stage, most notably the play She Knows You Know, which she wrote and starred in.

Her role as the comic Hylda Baker at London’s Vaudeville Theatre saw her nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 1998.

In recent years, Fergusson appeared on a variety of celebrity quiz shows, including Pointless, and she was also a pantomime headliner.

PA

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