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Bunnage as Doris in The L-Shaped Room (1962)
22 April 1923|
Ardwick, Manchester, Lancashire, England
4 October 1990 (aged 67)|
Thorpe Bay, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England
She attended Manley Park Municipal School and Chorlton Central School in Manchester. She worked as a secretary and a nursery teacher before deciding to become an actress. She gained stage experience in rep and made her first professional appearance at Chorlton Rep Theatre in Manchester in 1947. She appeared as Veronica, the wife of Rigsby, in Rising Damp, for one episode, and as Amy Jenkinson, Ivy Unsworth's friend, in 11 episodes of In Loving Memory. Bunnage was a member of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop company at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. There she created the role of Helen, the mother in A Taste of Honey, her first West End role when the play transferred to Wyndham's Theatre, and also a role in Oh, What a Lovely War! at Stratford East, which also transferred to Wyndham's Theatre. When Avis was on holiday from this production for two weeks, her role was taken over by Danny La Rue. Among her other roles for Theatre Workshop were Mrs. Lovitt in Christopher Bond's play Sweeney Todd (the basis for the Sondheim musical), and the title role in a play about the music hall legend Marie Lloyd. In the early years of Coronation Street she played Lucile Hewitt's auntie. She was in the musical Billy at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, playing the mother of 'Billy Liar'. She played Golda in Fiddler on the Roof, opposite Alfie Bass, at Her Majesty's Theatre in London.
- Expresso Bongo (1959) - Mrs. Rudge (uncredited)
- Doctor in Love (1960) - Mrs. Jimp (uncredited)
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) - Blousy Woman
- No Love for Johnnie (1961) - Constituent (uncredited)
- The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) - Mrs. Smith
- The L-Shaped Room (1962) - Doris
- Sparrers Can't Sing (1963) - Bridgie
- What a Crazy World (1963) - Mary Hitchens
- Tom Jones (1963) - Landlady. George Inn
- Rotten to the Core (1965) - Countess de Wett (Matron)
- A Study in Terror (1965) - Landlady
- The Wrong Box (1966) - Queen Victoria
- The Whisperers (1967) - Mrs. Noonan
- Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1968) - Tulip's Mother
- Panic (1978) (short film) - Old Lady
- Gandhi (1982) - Colin's Mother
- Forbidden (1984) - Frau Schimdt
- No Surrender (1985) - Martha Gorman
- CivvyStreet (1988) - Mrs Medeemey
- The Krays (1990) - Helen (final film role)
- "Avis Bunnage". BFI.
- "Avis Bunnage - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
- "Avis Bunnage". www.aveleyman.com.
- McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press – via Google Books.
- "Avis Bunnage in Oh What a Lovely War (Wyndham's Theatre, 1963) - Oh What a Lovely War - Landmarks: Oh What a Lovely War, Night Waves - BBC Radio 3". BBC.
- "Danny La Rue". 1 June 2009 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- Stewart, John (21 November 2012). "Broadway Musicals, 1943–2004". McFarland – via Google Books.
- Poore, Benjamin (15 November 2011). "Heritage, Nostalgia and Modern British Theatre: Staging the Victorians". Springer – via Google Books.
- "Alice Burgess". www.corrie.net.
- "Billy - 1974 Original London Cast".
- Wright, Adrian (15 December 2017). "West End Broadway: The Golden Age of the American Musical in London". Boydell Press – via Google Books.
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