1 May 1937 |
Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Peter Gilmore (m. 1958–1969) (divorced)
Nicky Henson (m. 1969–1975) (divorced)
Una Stubbs (born 1 May 1937) is an English actress and former dancer who has appeared extensively on British television and in the theatre, and less frequently in films. She is particularly known for playing Rita in the sitcom Till Death Us Do Part and Aunt Sally in the children's series Worzel Gummidge. She is also known for her role as Miss Bat in the series The Worst Witch and has most recently appeared as Sherlock Holmes's landlady Mrs Hudson in the Bafta award-winning television series Sherlock.
Film and television
Una Stubbs was born at Hinckley, Leicestershire. She first appeared on television as one of the Dougie Squires Dancers on the British television music show Cool for Cats in 1956. She also worked in cabaret, clubs and revues in London during these years and was one of Lionel Blair's dance ensemble.
Her first major screen role was in Cliff Richard's 1963 film, Summer Holiday. She also appeared in Richard's next film, Wonderful Life (1964). A few years later, she made her breakthrough in television comedy, playing Rita, the married daughter of Alf Garnett in the controversial BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part (1966–75). 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 1970-72, Stubbs teamed again with Cliff Richard to appear each week on his BBC1 TV Series, It's Cliff Richard!. When she was absent from the show due to her pregnancy, her TV 'mother', Dandy Nichols from Till Death..., appeared in her place on several editions.
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 has appeared in shows such as Midsomer Murders, Heartbeat, Casualty, Keeping Up Appearances, Born and Bred and The Worst Witch. In recent years, Stubbs has also appeared in Victoria Wood's We'd Quite Like to Apologise, The Catherine Tate Show, Agatha Christie's Marple, EastEnders, Benidorm and Sherlock as Mrs. Hudson.
Stubbs appeared 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. In recent years she has appeared in La Cage Aux Folles at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Pygmalion at the Theatre Royal, Bath and Old Vic and The Family Reunion by T.S. Eliot at the Donmar Warehouse.
Stubbs 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 remain good friends. She and Henson had two children: composer Christian Henson (born 25 December 1971), and musician-composer Joe Henson (born 18 September 1973).
Television shows and films
Only the entries for 1963, 1964, 1965 and 2009 are feature films
- Summer Holiday (1963) as Sandy
- The Bargee (1964) as Bridesmaid
- Wonderful Life (1964) as Barbara
- Three Hats for Lisa (1965)
- Mister Ten Per Cent (1967)
- Till Death Us Do Part as Rita (28 episodes, 1966–74)
- Till Death Us Do Part (1969) as Rita
- Fawlty Towers (1979) as Alice (in the episode The Anniversary)
- Worzel Gummidge as Aunt Sally (21 episodes, 1979–81)
- Till Death... as Rita (6 episodes, 1981)
- In Sickness and in Health as Rita (9 episodes, 1985–86)
- Worzel Gummidge Down Under as Aunt Sally (11 episodes, 1987–89)
- Keeping Up Appearances As Mrs. Moody (1995) (in the episode The Padgent)
- The Worst Witch as Miss Bat (25 episodes, 1998–2000)
- The Catherine Tate Show as Carole-Ann & Ursula (2 episodes, 2005)
- EastEnders as Caroline Bishop (6 episodes, 2006)
- Agatha Christie's Marple : Sleeping Murder as Edith Pagett (2006)
- Mist: The Tale of a Sheepdog Puppy as Fern (23 episodes, 2007–09)
- Benidorm guesting as Diana Weedon (Season 3 Episode 5, 2009)
- Ingenious (2009) as Gransha
- Sherlock as Mrs Hudson (6 episodes, 2010–)