Widows (TV series)

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This is the main title caption seen throughout the series.
Format Drama
Created by Lynda La Plante
Starring Ann Mitchell
Fiona Hendley
Maureen O'Farrell
Eva Mottley
Debby Bishop
Maurice O'Connell
David Calder
Kate Williams
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 18
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) Euston Films for Thames Television
Distributor FremantleMedia
Original channel ITV
Original run 16 March 1983 (1983-03-16) – 8 May 1985 (1985-05-08), 10 April 1995 (1995-04-10)

Widows was a British primetime television serial aired in 1983, produced by Euston Films for Thames Television and aired on the ITV network.

The six-part series revolved was written by crime writer Lynda La Plante. The executive producer was Verity Lambert.

The haunting music that was heard at intervals throughout series 1 and in the final credits of Widows 2, is "What Is Life to Me Without Thee"[1] from the opera L'Orfeo, sung here by Kathleen Ferrier.


Three armed robbers—Harry Rawlins, Terry Miller, and Joe Pirelli—are killed during an armed robbery. They are survived by their widows, Dolly Rawlins (Ann Mitchell), Shirley Miller (Fiona Hendley), and Linda Pirelli (Maureen O'Farrell). With the police applying pressure, and a rival gang intending to take over Harry Rawlins' crime business, the widows turn to Dolly for leadership.

She uses Harry's famous "ledgers", a cache of books detailing all his robberies over the years, to find the details of the failed robbery, and, enlisting the help of a fourth woman, Bella O'Reilly (Eva Mottley), they resolve to pull off the raid themselves. At the same time, they discover the "fourth man" in the raid escaped—leaving their husbands for dead. Dolly must contend with the police and the gang, as well as her fellow widows, agitating for vengeance.

Widows concluded with the widows successfully pulling off the raid, and escaping to Rio. In the final scenes, however, they discovered that the "fourth man" was in fact Harry Rawlins (Maurice O'Connell), Dolly's husband.


Widows 2 (1985)[edit]

Widows was followed by Widows 2 in 1985. The second series saw the widows return from Rio to track down Harry Rawlins, revealed at the conclusion of the original Widows to be the surviving "fourth man" from the original raid. Harry is determined to pay back the widows for staging his raid, and the widows have a score to settle with him for running out on their husbands. For this second series, Debby Bishop took over the role of Bella, after Eva Mottley had died from a drugs overdose.

She's Out! (1995)[edit]

Widows 2 was followed by She's Out in 1995. The third (and final) series began with Dolly Rawlins' release from prison after serving a nine-year sentence for the murder of Harry, her husband. She teams up with several other parolees and make plans to stage a train robbery on horseback. Dolly's new companions in crime were—Ester Freeman (Linda Marlowe), Julia Lawson (Anna Patrick), Gloria Radford (Maureen Sweeney), Connie Stephens (Zoe Heyes), Angela Dunn (Indra Ove) and Kathleen O'Reilly (Maggie McCarthy).

US re-make[edit]

In 2002, it was re-made for the US market as Widows, but the plot was changed. Instead of a traditional armed robbery, the US version united the three widows and the fourth woman in a plan to steal a famous painting. The US version starred Mercedes Ruehl as Dolly Rawlins, Brooke Shields as Shirley Heller (note: the character name was changed from Miller), Rosie Perez as Linda Perelli, and N'Bushe Wright as Bella O'Reilly.

DVD release[edit]

The complete series of Widows is available on DVD (Region 2, UK) from Fremantle Media. The 1990s sequel, She's Out!, is also available, having been released by Revelation.


  1. ^ What Is Life to Me Without Thee

External links[edit]