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20 June 1934 |
Sacriston, County Durham, England
|Spouse(s)||Jack Bentley (1955–94)|
Wendy Craig (born 20 June 1934) is an English actress who is best known for her appearances in the sitcoms Not in Front of the Children, Butterflies, ...And Mother Makes Three and ...And Mother Makes Five. She played the recurring role of Matron in the TV series The Royal (2003-11).
She was born in Sacriston, County Durham and attended Yarm Grammar School Durham High School for Girls, which she re-visited on 13 October 2007 when she opened a new building named after her. She trained as an actress at the Central School of Dramatic Art.
From the mid-1950s she appeared in British films such as The Servant (1963) and The Nanny (1965) with Bette Davis, but it was her appearances in British sitcoms of the late 1960s and 1970s which led to her becoming a household name, usually playing a scatty middle class housewife. She went from the BBC's Not in Front of the Children (1967) to ITV's ...And Mother Makes Three (1971) (in which she played a single parent), which later evolved into ...And Mother Makes Five. Then came Butterflies (1978), a comedy on BBC2, in which Craig's character was given more depth than in the earlier series.
Wendy Craig returned to drama with the series Nanny (1981-83), a series she created, and wrote some episodes herself as Jonathan Marr, a pseudonym she had used before when writing episodes of ...And Mother Makes Five. Twenty years later, she played a hospital matron in ITV's The Royal (2003-11). However, she has continued to be associated with comedy, having taken one of the leading roles as Annie in Brighton Belles (1993-94), the UK's short-lived version of The Golden Girls.
In 2012 she appeared as a guest in episode 12 in the Series Masterchef along with many other '70s sitcom stars.
She was married to Jack Bentley from 1955 until his death in 1994. They had two sons, Alaster (later principal oboist for the Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia) and Ross. In 2004, it was revealed that her second son was the result of a short affair with John Mortimer. Alaster's youngest daughter Emma Bentley is following in her grandmother's footsteps by training at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.
- The Secret Place (1957)
- Room at the Top (1959)
- The Mind Benders (1963)
- The Servant (1963)
- The Nanny (1965)
- Just Like a Woman (1967)
- I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967)
- Joseph Andrews (1977)
- Pickering, David. "Craig, Wendy - British Actor". Museum.TV. Chicago, IL, USA: The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- Julia Hallam "Craig, Wendy (1934-)", BFI screenonline
- Walker, Tim; Eden, Richard (12 September 2004). "Mortimer's joy at son with Wendy Craig". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 9 January 2012.