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Breaking: Mollie Sugden dies; RIP Mrs Slocombe

by Norwegian Chef Wed Jul 1st, 2009 at 08:01:25 PM EST

It has just been announced that the wonderful actress Mollie Sugden has died. Playing the great character of Mrs Slocombe in 'Are you being Served?' which ran from 1972 to 1985, she made millions laugh over the years with her marvelous antics, colourful hair, and of course with her beloved 'pussy' as she ruled supreme over the 'Ladies' at Graces Department Store.

Here is is her bio from Wiki:

Mary Isobel Sugden was born in Keighley in Yorkshire in 1922. When she was four years old, she heard a woman reading a poem at a village concert making people laugh. The following Christmas, after being asked if she could "do anything", Sugden read this poem and everyone fell about laughing. She later remarked that their response made her "realise how wonderful it was to make people laugh".[1] Shortly after she left school, the Second World War broke out, and Sugden worked in a munitions factory in Keighley making shells for the Royal Navy. However, she was later made redundant so she attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

When Sugden graduated from the Guildhall School of Drama, she worked in rep for eight years with a company that included Eric Sykes and Roy Dotrice.[1] She also had work in radio and made her television debut in a live half-hour comedy show. Sugden's other appearances before Are You Being Served? included parts in Benny Hill, Just Jimmy, Z-Cars, Up Pompeii!, The Goodies, Steptoe and Son and five episodes of Jackanory in 1968. Later in 1973, she had a 23-week stint on That's Life! and also appeared in Son of the Bride.

[edit] Television fame

Mollie Sugden's first regular sitcom role was from 1962 to 1966 when she played Mrs. Crispin in the sitcom Hugh and I. Hugh and I was written by John Chapman and when he got involved with The Liver Birds, he suggested Sugden for the role of Sandra's mother, Mrs Hutchinson.[1] She portrayed Mrs Hutchinson from 1971 to 1979, and years later in 1996, when The Liver Birds was revived Sugden reprised the role, despite being on steroids at the time due to suffering from polymyalgia.

However, Sugden's big break that gave her nationwide fame was the role of Mrs Slocombe--a department-store saleswoman with a socially superior attitude, a repertoire of double entendres, and a penchant for bouffant, pastel-colored coiffures--in the popular and long-running Are You Being Served?, which ran from 1972 to 1985. In 1978, she was the lead star in Come Back Mrs Noah, a sitcom that is regarded by some as one of the worst ever made.[2] From 1965 to 1976, she intermittently played Nellie Harvey, the land-lady of The Laughing Donkey pub, in Coronation Street.[3] In this she often appeared opposite Annie Walker, landlady of the Rovers Return.

Mollie Sugden also played main roles in other sitcoms, including That's My Boy, that ran from 1981 to 1986 and My Husband and I. My Husband and I ran from 1987 to 1988 and she played opposite her husband, William Moore (1916-2000), whom she married on 29 March 1958 having met him at Swansea rep.[1] They had twin sons, Robin and Simon, who were born in 1964.

More than Michael Jackson whose music I never understood after 'Ben' or Farah Fawcett, as I was a young gay lad, there was Mrs Slocombe who was my great role model.  As a kid I would put on an over-the-top wig, grab the family cat and my mother's jewelery and come downstairs and say the most outrageous things to my family and guests, dispelling sadly for my parents any hope of a daughter-in-law and grandkids ;-)

How I will miss you and with you is really a passing of my younger days.  May you and your beloved pussy rest in peace.


Oh no - Mrs. Slocombe is dead?  

I must say that was the strangest, unfunniest sitcom I've ever seen - used to watch it religiously on Sunday nights.  There was something about it I just didn't get.  John Inman was genius though.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 at 11:21:52 AM EST
I can understand people getting the absurdist humour of Monty Pythin, but this strain of music hall campness seems far to British to appeal to other humours. I am always mystified it became so popular.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 at 02:30:49 PM EST
was polished and brought to the fore by the Carry On series.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 at 03:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...of which my favourite was "Carry on up the Khyber"


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jul 4th, 2009 at 05:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Infamy !! Infamy !! They've all got it in for me.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 5th, 2009 at 10:32:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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