Patsy Rowlands

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Patsy Rowlands
Patsy Rowlands.jpg
Born Patricia Amy Rowlands
(1931-01-19)19 January 1931
Palmers Green, London, England, UK
Died 22 January 2005(2005-01-22) (aged 74)
Hove, East Sussex, England, UK
Television Bless This House
Hallelujah!

Patricia Amy "Patsy" Rowlands (19 January 1931 – 22 January 2005)[1][2] was an English actress who is best remembered for her roles in the Carry On films series, and as Betty Lewis in the popular ITV Thames sitcom Bless This House, and as Alice Meredith in the Yorkshire Television sitcom Hallelujah!.

Early years[edit]

She was born in Palmers Green, London and attended the Sacred Heart convent school at Whetstone.[3] While attending, an elocution teacher spotted her potential and encouraged her to pursue a career in acting. She applied for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and won a scholarship aged fifteen.[2]

Early career[edit]

Rowlands began her career in the chorus of Annie Get Your Gun, followed by a summer season in Torquay. She then spent several years with the Players' Theatre in London, before making her West End debut in Sandy Wilson's musical Valmouth. It was at this time she met her future husband, the composer Malcolm Sircom. They divorced in 1967.[citation needed]

Other West End theatre credits included Semi-Detached with Laurence Olivier and directed by Tony Richardson (with whom she was to work often, appearing in his 1963 film Tom Jones), Shut Your Eyes and Think of England, with Donald Sinden, The Seagull and Ben Travers's The Bed Before Yesterday, both directed by Lindsay Anderson and When We Are Married for Ronald Eyre. She also starred in Cameron Mackintosh's revival of Oliver! in the mid-1990s as well as playing Jack's mother in the original London cast of Sondheim's Into the Woods alongside Julia McKenzie and Imelda Staunton. One of her final musical appearances in the West End was as Mrs Pearce in the National Theatre's production of My Fair Lady which also starred Jonathan Pryce.

Rowlands also appeared quite frequently on television early in her career. Amongst the various series in which she appeared, were several appearances in Gert and Daisy (1959) as Bonnie, as well as appearing in 2 episodes of Danger Man (as different, unrelated characters).

Carry On films[edit]

She made her debut in the Carry On films in Carry On Again Doctor in 1969 and soon became a regular member of the team, usually playing the dowdy, put-upon wife or the long-suffering secretary. Between 1969 and 1975 she appeared in nine of the films, including Carry On Loving, Carry On at Your Convenience, Carry On Girls and Carry On Behind.

On 7 March 1971 she starred in a single episode (You've Really Landed Me In It This Time) of popular ITV sitcom Doctor at Large, with Barry Evans and George Layton, as a nymphomaniac secretary, a role she seemed to relish and had played similarly in Carry On Loving.

From 1971 to 1976, she played Betty, the feckless neighbour in the popular ITV sitcom Bless This House, which starred fellow Carry On star Sid James. Her other television credits at this time included appearances with comedians such as Les Dawson and Dick Emery. In the early 1980s, she appeared with Thora Hird in the sitcom Hallelujah!, in which they played an aunt and niece in The Salvation Army. In 1991 she appeared in an episode of Zorro filmed in Madrid, Spain.[citation needed]

Later years[edit]

Towards the end of her life, Rowlands appeared in several revivals of major musicals such as Oliver! at the London Palladium and My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Later television credits include The Cazalets, The Canterbury Tales, The Cater Street Hangman, Get Well Soon, Vanity Fair, Murder Most English, and Bottom for the BBC. In 2002, she was a guest on the paranormal series Most Haunted. Rowlands took part in several DVD audio commentaries along with other surviving stars of the Carry On films in 2003.[4]

Death[edit]

Rowlands developed breast cancer and had to abandon her plans to become an acting teacher, and quietly retire. She died of the disease in an East Sussex hospice, three days after her 74th birthday. She was survived by her only son, Alan.[3]

Television roles[edit]

Comedy[edit]

Year Title Role
1959 Gert and Daisy Bonnie
1961 Danger Man Mrs. Harkness
1964 Danger Man Mrs. Farebrother
1971 to 1976 Bless This House Betty Lewis
1974 to 1977 The Squirrels Susan
1979 3-2-1, series 2, episode 10 (School Days) Herself
1980 The Nesbitts Are Coming WPC Naylor
1981 Kinvig Netta Kinvig
1983 to 1984 Hallelujah! Alice Meredith
1992 Bottom Lil Potato
1997 Get Well Soon Mrs Clapton

Children's[edit]

Year Title Role
1980s/90s Rainbow Auntie

Drama[edit]

Year Title Role
1961 Danger Man Mrs. Harkness
1964 Danger Man Mrs. Farebrother
2001 The Cazalets Governess

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC News - Carry On Star Patsy Rowlands dies". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Patsy Rowlands - Obituaries - The Independent". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Barker, Dennis (26 January 2005). "Patsy Rowlands". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Robert Ross DVD". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 

External links[edit]