Damaris Hayman

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Damaris Hayman
Damaris Ann Kennedy Hayman

(1929-06-16)16 June 1929
Kensington, London, England
Died3 June 2021(2021-06-03) (aged 91)

Damaris Ann Kennedy Hayman (16 June 1929 – 3 June 2021) was an English actress,[1][2] often cast in upper class or eccentric roles. She made numerous performance in films and television series from the 1950s onwards.[3]


Hayman was born in Kensington, London, England, the only child of Percival, a barrister, and Vera Hayman (née Kennedy). The family relocated to Nelson in Lancashire when Hayman was still young before moving again to Cheltenham where Hayman was educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College. Until the age of eighteen, Hayman attended local drama classes before going to the Royal Academy of Music and gaining a qualification in teaching.[4] After repertory work in the theatre, she made her film début in The Belles of St Trinian's (1954) in an uncredited role as a sixth former.[5] The Telegraph obituary writer recalled Hayman, "with her toothy, jolly-hockey-sticks, quintessentially English persona", sometimes being compared to the female star of that film, Joyce Grenfell.[6] In a touring production of The Importance of Being Earnest she played a parlour maid and was the understudy for Margaret Rutherford, who was cast as Lady Bracknell. The two women became very close and Hayman supported Rutherford in her last years.[7]

Predominantly appearing in comedy, Hayman became the foil for many famous comedians including Sid James, Tommy Cooper, Dick Emery, Les Dawson and Morecambe and Wise.[4]

Apart from scores of small parts, Hayman appeared in the Doctor Who serial The Dæmons (1971) as Miss Hawthorne, the self-proclaimed White Witch of the village Devil's End.[8][9] Doctor Who, the Television Companion described her character as, "very memorable," and praised Hayman as being "perfectly cast in the role, her engaging performance adding much to the story".[9] Hayman also appeared in such comedies as Steptoe and Son, Love Thy Neighbour, The Young Ones, One Foot In The Grave and Sez Les. She worked with Ronnie Barker, appearing in one episode of his final series, Clarence (1988)[10] as well as appearing in The Liver Birds (1971) and in the 1986 Duty Free Christmas special.[1][11]

Hayman also appeared in many films including Bitter Harvest (1963), Smokescreen (1964), Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), Mutiny on the Buses (1972), Love Thy Neighbour (1973), Man About the House (1974), Confessions of a Driving Instructor (1976) and The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976).[4]

After appearing in a sketch in Tony Hancock's last British TV series in 1967, she became a close friend of the comedian in the remaining year of his life.[12] She also reprised her role of Miss Hawthorne in the six-part straight-to-DVD drama White Witch of Devil's End (2017) which began production in 2012.

Hayman died in Gloucester on 3 June 2021, aged 91.[13][14]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Damaris Hayman". BFI. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Damaris Hayman - Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.com.
  3. ^ "Doctor Who News - Damaris Hayman 1929-2021". Doctorwhonews.net. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Hadoke, Toby (14 June 2021). "Damaris Hayman obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Index to Motion Picture Credits: The Belles of St Trinians". Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. 10 June 2011. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Damaris Hayman, reliable supporting actress cherished by Doctor Who fans for her role in The Daemons – obituary". The Telegraph. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021. (subscription required)
  7. ^ "Damaris Hayman". The Times. London. 5 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Doctor Who: The Daemons, Episode 1 (1971) - Christopher Barry - Cast and Crew". AllMovie.com.
  9. ^ a b "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Daemons - Details". BBC Doctor Who.
  10. ^ "Clarence[08/02/88] (1988)". BFI. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017.
  11. ^ "The Liver Birds[11/03/71] (1971)". BFI. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017.
  12. ^ John Fisher Tony Hancock: The Definitive Biography, London:: HarperCollins, 2008, pp. 446-49
  13. ^ "Doctor Who News - Damaris Hayman 1929-2021". Doctorwhonews.net. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Damaris Hayman: 1929 – 2021". Gallifreyannenewsroom.com. 3 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.

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