Mary Millar

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For those of a similar name, see Mary Miller (disambiguation).
Mary Millar
Mary Millar in Keeping Up Appearances.jpg
Millar as Rose in Series 5 of Keeping Up Appearances
Born Irene Mary Wetton
(1936-07-26)26 July 1936
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England, UK
Died 10 November 1998(1998-11-10) (aged 62)
Brockley, London, England, UK
Cause of death
Ovarian cancer
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1952–98
Spouse(s) Rafael Frame (m. 1962–98) (her death)
Children Lucy Frame (born 1972)

Irene Mary Wetton (26 July 1936 – 10 November 1998), better known by her stage name Mary Millar,[1] was a British actress and singer best remembered for her role as Rose in the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances.[2] She was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire.

Millar made her first television appearance in 1953, aged 17, in Those Were the Days. She also made appearances on The Dick Emery Show and The Stanley Baxter Show.[1] Millar gained acclaim for her part in Keeping Up Appearances as Rose, replacing Shirley Stelfox for Series 2 in 1991 as Stelfox had prior commitments to Making Out. Rose was a popular character in the sitcom, with a flair for drama and a fancy for married men.[3] Millar remained with the series through to its conclusion in 1995. In 1960, Millar traveled to New York to understudy Julie Andrews in Camelot. She began her West End career in 1962 as Cloris in Lock Up Your Daughters.[2][4] In 1969, she played the title role in the musical Ann Veronica, based on H. G. Wells' novel. Millar played the role of Madame Giry in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera for 4 years and appeared on the original cast album.[4] From 1997 to 1998, she played Mrs Potts in the London production of Beauty and the Beast, and appeared on the cast album composed by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.[5] In February 1998, Millar left the show because of deteriorating health.[6]

Early life[edit]

Irene Mary Wetton[7] was born in Doncaster, England, on 26 July 1936 to Horace and Irene (née Mellor) Wetton, both music hall singers.[1] Millar intended to become a stable hand, because of her love of animals, but she decided to take after her parents and pursue a stage career. She toured the country with her parents, who had an act called "Sweethearts in Harmony".[6]

Personal life[edit]

Millar had one daughter, Lucy Frame (born 1972), by her marriage to Rafael D. Frame, which began in 1962 and ended in 1998 with her death.[4][8] She was a practising Christian.[3][9]

Death[edit]

In January 1998, Millar was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and underwent chemotherapy.[6] A month before her death, when asked what she would do when she arrived at heaven's door, Millar said, "Rehearse for a part in the Angelic choir, darling."[10] She died on 10 November, at the age of 62, in Brockley, London, with her husband and daughter at her bedside. She was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium.[6] An episode of Keeping Up Appearances was broadcast on BBC One the following week and dedicated to her.

Work[edit]

Millar as Madame Giry in The Phantom of the Opera (1986)

Television[edit]

Year Title Role
1953 Those Were the Days
1963, 1964 The Dick Emery Show[11]
1963–71 The Stanley Baxter Show
1970 Rookery Nook Poppy Dickie
1991–95 Keeping Up Appearances Rose (replacing Shirley Stelfox)

Also: BBC2 productions of The Mikado, Tipitu and Iolanthe.[1]

Theatre[edit]

Year Play Role Theatre Notes
1952, 1954–55 Babes in the Wood Principal character The Empire Theatre, Sheffield (1952)
Derby Hippodrome Theatre (1954–55)[12]
1957, 1959 The Desert Song Margot Bonvalet His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen 1967 studio recording[13][14]
1958–59 Old Chelsea Mary Fenton King's Theatre, Glasgow
1960 Camelot Queen Guenevere Majestic Theatre, Manhattan Julie Andrews' understudy[1][9]
1962 Lock Up Your Daughters Cloris Mermaid Theatre[4]
Her Majesty's Theatre[15]
1963 See You Inside Duchess Theatre[16]
1963–64 All in Love[17][18] Lydia Languish Mayfair Theatre[19] Based on The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
1965 Dearest Dracula[20][21] Lucy Olympia Theatre, Dublin
1966 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Milly 1966 recording[22]
1967–68, 1971 Bless the Bride Richmond Theatre 1967 studio recording[23]
1967 Love From a Stranger Cecily Harrington Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[24]
1967 Virtue in Danger Berinthia Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[25]
1968 The Rivals Lydia Languish Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[26]
1969 The Real Inspector Hound Cynthia Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[27]
1969 Black Comedy Clea Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[27]
1969 Ann Veronica[28] Ann Veronica Stanley Cambridge Theatre Cast recording[29]
1970 Spider's Web[30] Clarissa Hailsham-Brown Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[31]
1972 Popkiss[32] Poppy Dickie Globe Theatre
Cambridge Arts Theatre
1973 The Importance of Being Earnest Honourable Gwendolen Fairfax Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[33]
1975 Small and Brassy King's Head Theatre
Wyndham's Theatre[34]
1978 Lark Rise[35] Emma Timms Royal National Theatre
1984 Pack of Lies Barbara Jackson Lyric Theatre, London Replacing Judi Dench[9]
1985, 1993–94 Follies[2][36][37] Sally Durant Plummer Forum Theatre, Wythenshawe
Brighton Dome
Haymarket Theatre
1986–90 The Phantom of the Opera[38] Madame Giry Her Majesty's Theatre Leader of bible studies between shows,[10] cast recording
1996 Follies: In Concert National Concert Hall, Dublin
1997–98 Beauty and the Beast[2] Mrs Potts Dominion Theatre Cast recording[39]
Pal Joey[2]
The King and I[2] Anna Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
The Mating Game
3 years An Evening with Mary Millar Talking about her Christianity, life, and work[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Hayward, Anthony (13 November 1998). "Obituary: Mary Millar". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lefkowitz, David (11 November 1998). "Mary Millar, First Giry of UK Phantom, Dies of Cancer Nov. 10". Playbill. Philip S Birsh. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Middlehurst, Lester (29 April 1997). "God and the tart with a heart... Rose of Keeping Up Appearances on her life-saving faith". Daily Mail. 
  4. ^ a b c d "The Original Cast – Mary Millar". The Phantom of the Opera. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Mary Millar". Toledo Blade. 13 November 1998. p. 11. 
  6. ^ a b c d Palmer, Alun (12 November 1998). "Death of a TV Rose; At 62, Hyacinth's lovelorn sister loses her battle against cancer". The Daily Mail. 
  7. ^ "Births search results 1761–2006". Findmypast. Brightsolid. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "British Actress Mary Millar Dies". AP News Archive. Associated Press. 11 November 1998. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c "Mary Millar". Herald Scotland. Newsquest. 14 November 1998. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Sanderson, Heather (1 August 2011). "Mary Millar, "Rose" from Keeping Up Appearances". Maryland Public Television. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Light and Lighting and Environmental Design. Illumiating Engineering Society. 1967. p. 144. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "D6 – Derby Hippodrome, 1954". Vaudeville Postcards. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (2007). The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 350. ISBN 978-0-313-34140-3. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "THE DESERT SONG [musical show]". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Lock Up Your Daughters". AusStage. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Short measure". Catholic Herald. 22 March 1963. p. 8. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "1964 musicals" (PDF). Over the Footlights. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  18. ^ Wright, Adrian (2012). West End Broadway: The Golden Age of the American Musical in London. Boydell Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-84383-791-6. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  19. ^ Gilmore, Peter. "Off Broadway to May Fair". gilmore-stallybrass.eu. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Dearest Dracula". PlayographyIreland. Irish Theatre Institute. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  21. ^ Browning, John Edgar; Picart, Caroline Joan (2010). Dracula in Visual Media: Film, Television, Comic Book and Electronic Game Appearances, 1921–2010. McFarland. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-7864-6201-8. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Seven brides for seven brothers". WorldCat. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Bless the Bride". musical-theatre.net. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  24. ^ "Love from a Stranger 1967". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Virtue in Danger 1967". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "The Rivals 1968". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "The Real Inspector Hound and Black Comedy 1969". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  28. ^ "Ann Veronica". guidetomusicaltheatre.com. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  29. ^ "Ann Veronica: original London cast recording". WorldCat. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  30. ^ "Mary Millar". Theatricalia. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  31. ^ "Spider's Web 1970". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  32. ^ Johns, Eric (1973). Theatre Review. W. H. Allen Co. p. 168. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  33. ^ "The Importance of Being Earnest 1973". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  34. ^ Phillips, Neville (4 August 2008). The Stage Struck Me!. Troubador Publishing Ltd. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-906510-43-5. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  35. ^ Mangan, Richard. "Production of Lark Rise". Theatricalia. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  36. ^ "Follies at the Forum Theatre". University of Bristol. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  37. ^ Morley, Sheridan (26 October 1994). "This 'Romeo and Juliet' Is Not for Purists". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  38. ^ Tylor, Marcus (2007). The Phantom of the Opera: The First Year Backstage. Lulu.com. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-9556820-0-1. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  39. ^ "Disney's Beauty and the beast: the new hit musical: original London cast recording". WorldCat. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 

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