Una Stubbs nous a quittés RIP

Una Stubbs


Una Stubbs (1 May 1937 – 12 August 2021) was an English actress, television personality, and dancer who appeared on British television and in the theatre, and occasionally in films. She became known after appearing in the film Summer Holiday (1963) and later played Rita Rawlins in the BBC sitcoms Till Death Us Do Part and In Sickness and in Health. Her other television roles include Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge and Miss Bat in The Worst Witch. She also appeared as Sherlock Holmes‘s landlady Mrs. Hudson in the BAFTA award-winning television series Sherlock.


During 1958–59, Stubbs was the “cover girl” of Dairy Box chocolates, produced by Rowntree’s.[1] She referred to herself as the “Rowntrees Chocolate Girl”, when describing a visit she made to the Rowntree’s factory in York (where, unknown to her, her grandfather had worked).[2]

She first appeared on television as one of the Dougie Squires Dancers on the British television music show Cool for Cats in 1956.[3][4] She made her debut stage appearance as a dancer at the London Palladium.[5] She also worked in cabaretclubs and revues in London during these years and was one of Lionel Blair‘s dance ensemble.[6]

In 1963, she joined the cast of new charades-based gameshow Don’t Say a Word (ITV), a forerunner of Give Us a Clue.[5] Her first screen role was in the Cliff Richard film, Summer Holiday (1963). She also appeared in Richard’s next film, Wonderful Life (1964). Soon afterwards, she made her breakthrough in television comedy, playing Rita, the married daughter of Alf Garnett in the BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part (1966–1975). She also appeared in the short-lived sitcom Till Death… (1981), again playing Rita. She played Rita a third time in a few episodes of the BBC sitcom In Sickness and in Health (1985–92). During 1970–71, Stubbs teamed again with Cliff Richard to appear each week on his BBC1 TV Series, It’s Cliff Richard! When she did not take part in the next series as it was broadcast shortly after she had a baby, her TV “mother”, Dandy Nichols from Till Death Us Do Part, took her place.

Stubbs featured in the Fawlty Towers episode “The Anniversary” in 1979. From 1979 to 1981, she played Aunt Sally in the ITV children’s series Worzel Gummidge opposite Jon Pertwee and Barbara Windsor and was for several years a team captain in the weekly game show Give Us a Clue in the 1980s, reuniting her with Lionel Blair, the other team captain.

She appeared in the shows Midsomer MurdersHeartbeatCasualtyKeeping Up AppearancesBorn and Bred and The Worst Witch. In recent years, Stubbs also appeared in Victoria Wood‘s We’d Quite Like to ApologiseThe Catherine Tate ShowAgatha Christie’s MarpleEastEndersBenidorm since 2010, and Sherlock as Mrs. Hudson. She appeared in an episode of Call the Midwife in 2015.

Stubbs was on the West End stage in Noël Coward‘s Star Quality with Penelope Keith in 2001 and Friedrich Schiller‘s Don Carlos with Derek Jacobi in 2005. More recently she appeared in La Cage Aux Folles at the Menier Chocolate FactoryPygmalion 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.

In 2015, she co-presented The Big Painting Challenge on BBC One alongside Richard Bacon.

Personal life

Stubbs was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire,[7] the daughter of Angela K. Rawlinson and Clarence Reginald Stubbs.[6] She grew up in Hinckley, Leicestershire,[8] and was sent to La Roche dancing school in Slough by her mother.[5] She was married to the actor Peter Gilmore from 1958 to 1969: they adopted a son, Jason. After their divorce in 1969, she married actor Nicky Henson. They divorced in 1975 but remained good friends. She and Henson had two children: composer Christian Henson (born 25 December 1971), and musician-composer Joe Henson (born 18 September 1973).[9]

For many years, Stubbs sketched vignettes of characters around London, and held exhibitions of these near her Mayfair home.[10] On several occasions, paintings by Stubbs were exhibited at the Royal Academy‘s Summer Exhibition, most recently in 2020.[11]

Stubbs had known her Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch since he was four years old, as she had worked with his mother, Wanda Ventham.[12] Stubbs was the subject of an episode of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?, broadcast on 24 July 2013. It discussed several of her ancestors, including her great-grandfather Sir Ebenezer Howard, who was the founder of the garden city movement, and was the driving force in the design and creation of the first garden cities, Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City, situated in Hertfordshire.[13]

After several months of ill health, Stubbs died at her home in Edinburgh on 12 August 2021, at the age of 84.[14]

Selected filmography

Sources: [15][16]


Year Title Role
1963 Summer Holiday Sandy
1964 The Bargee Bridesmaid
Wonderful Life Barbara
1965 Three Hats for Lisa Flora
1967 Mister Ten Per Cent Lady Dorothea
1969 Till Death Us Do Part Rita
1973 Penny Gold Anna
1974 Bedtime with Rosie Rosie
2007 Angel Miss Dawson
2016 Golden Years Shirley


Year Title Role Notes
1960 The Strange World of Gurney Slade Vacuum Cleaner Girl / Girl in Park 2 episodes
1966–1975 Till Death Us Do Part Rita 52 episodes
1970-1972 It’s Cliff Richard! Herself 33 episodes
1979 Fawlty Towers Alice Episode: “The Anniversary
1979–1981 Worzel Gummidge Aunt Sally 21 episodes
1979–1985 Give Us a Clue Herself 16 episodes
1981 Till Death… Rita 6 episodes
1985–1986 In Sickness and in Health Rita 9 episodes
1987–1989 Worzel Gummidge Down Under Aunt Sally 11 episodes
1995 Keeping Up Appearances Mrs Moody Episode: “The Pageant”
1995, 1997 Heartbeat Anthea Cowley 2 episodes
1996 Delta Wave Gilly Pigeon 4 episodes
1998 Midsomer Murders Selina Jennings Episode: “Written in Blood”
2000 Casualty Joan Banville Episode: “Not Waving but Drowning”
1998–2000 The Worst Witch Miss Bat 25 episodes
2002 Queen & Country Rita Rawlins Episode: “Servant of the People”
2003 Born and Bred Joy Episode: “A Very Ormston Christmas”
2005–2007 The Catherine Tate Show Carole-Ann, Ursula & Vi 4 episodes
2006 EastEnders Caroline Bishop 6 episodes
2006 Agatha Christie’s Marple Edith Pagett Episode: “Sleeping Murder
2007 Gina’s Laughing Gear Episode: “Stairlift to Heaven”
2007–2009 Mist: Sheepdog Tales Fern 23 episodes
2009 Benidorm Diana Weedon Season 3 Episode 5
2009 Ingenious Gransha
2010–2017 Sherlock Mrs. Hudson 13 episodes
2011 The Bleak Old shop of Stuff Aunt Good Spelling Episode: “Christmas Special”
2013 Who Do You Think You Are? Herself Series 10, Episode 1
2013 Starlings Molly 4 episodes
2013 Coming Up Cynthia Episode: “Sink Or Swim”
2013 A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Tractate Middoth Miss Chambers
2015 Midsomer Murders Audrey Braylesford Episode 17.1 “The Dagger Club”
2015 The Big Painting Challenge Co-presenter, alongside Richard Bacon Series 1
2015 Call The Midwife Gert Mills Episode #4.7
2017 The Durrells Mrs Haddock Series 2, Episode 4
2017 Murder on the Blackpool Express Peggy TV Movie

Audio dramas

Year Title Role
2007 Doctor WhoHorror of Glam Rock Flo[17]


Year Title Playwright Director Role Venue
1990 She Stoops to Conquer Oliver Goldsmith James Maxwell Mrs Hardcastle Royal Exchange, Manchester
1992 An Ideal Husband Oscar Wilde James Maxwell Lady Markby Royal Exchange, Manchester
1996 The Philadelphia Story Philip Barry Josephine Abady Margaret Lord Royal Exchange, Manchester
1997 The Deep Blue Sea Terence Rattigan Michael Grandage Hester Collyer Mercury Theatre, Colchester


  1. ^ “Nestlé archive shows the history of Rowntree’s chocolate”York PressYork. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2014Alex points out a photo of Una Stubbs, who was used as the cover girl for Dairy Box.
  2. ^ Who Do You Think You Are?, “Una Stubbs”, Director Mary Cranitch, Producer Colette Flight, BBC, 2013, approx 26 minutes
  3. ^ “Cool for Cats – Beginnings”www.coolforcats.freeuk.com. Retrieved 12 August2021.
  4. ^ Coveney, Michael (12 August 2021). “Una Stubbs obituary”the Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  5. Jump up to:a b c “BFI Screenonline: Stubbs, Una (1937-) Biography”www.screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  6. Jump up to:a b “Una Stubbs – Who Do You Think You Are – A regular in television and film for 50 years…” Thegenealogist.com. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  7. ^ Barnett, Laura (14 January 2014). “Una Stubbs, actor – portrait of the artist”The GuardianISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  8. ^ “Una Stubbs: My family values”The Guardian. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  9. ^ Stubbs to join ex-husband in soap BBC News 23 May 2006
  10. ^ “The Panter & Hall Gallery”. 9 May 2012. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  11. ^ “801 – A NEW HAT by Una Stubbs”Se.royalacademy.org.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  12. ^ Margy Rochlin. “Q & A With Una Stubbs: The Joy of Victoria Sponges + Getting Sherlock Holmes to Eat”L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  13. ^ “Una Stubbs”Who Do You Think You Are?. Series 10. Episode 1. 24 July 2013. BBC Television. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  14. ^ “Actress Una Stubbs dies at 84”BBC News. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  15. ^ “Una Stubbs”BFI. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  16. ^ Guide, British Comedy. “Una Stubbs”British Comedy Guide.
  17. ^ “1.3. HORROR OF GLAM ROCK”Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 29 March2017.

External links


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