A performer who lit up the stage and screen whenever she appeared – and no matter the size of the venue or role – has died. Una Stubbs was 84.
Born in 1937 in Leicestershire, Stubbs started her career dancing from a young age after her mother enrolled her in the La Roche school in Slough. She made her stage debut at the London Palladium and also parlayed her skills and bubbly personality into dancing on music TV series. From there, she moved on to become a popular personality in the world of game shows, especially Don’t Say A Word, which eventually became the big hit Give Us A Clue.
On the acting front, Stubbs proved she could handle any role, including as Rita, the endlessly exasperated daughter of Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part., reprising the role in ‘Til Death and In Sickness and In Health. Those who grew up in the 1970s and 80s will also fondly remember her as mean Aunt Sally alongside John Pertwee in kids’ series Worzel Gummidge. And she scored a whole new audience with her role as Mrs. Hudson in Sherlock.
Cinema-wise, she got her big break in Summer Holiday, and while TV continued to be her main area, she also appeared in movies such as Bedtime With Rosie, Angel and lent her voice to The Water Babies.
“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,” her family said in a statement.
“We are desperately sad to have lost not only a wonderful actress, whose screen and stage career, spanning over 50 years, was so extraordinarily varied, from Till Death Us Do Part to Sherlock, as well as memorable performances in the West End, at the Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse, Sheffield Crucible and National Theatre, but also a wickedly funny, elegant, stylish, graceful, gracious and kind and constant friend. She was also a highly respected and exhibited artist. We will miss her enormously and remember her always,” her agent added.