Gwen Taylor

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Gwen Taylor
Born (1939-02-19) 19 February 1939 (age 77)
Derby, Derbyshire, England
Years active 1972–Present
Spouse(s) Graham Reid

Gwen Taylor (born 19 February 1939)[1] is an English actress who has appeared in many British television programmes. She is known for her roles as Amy Pearce in the sitcom Duty Free (1984–86); Barbara Liversidge in the sitcom Barbara (1999–2003); Peggy Armstrong in the drama series Heartbeat (2005–09), and Anne Foster in the soap opera Coronation Street (2011–12). She was nominated for the 1990 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her role as Rita Simcock in the comedy series A Bit of a Do (1989). Her film appearances include Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) and The Lady in the Van (2015).


Taylor was born in Derby. Her initial career was in banking, but when she was an assistant area manager for the National Provincial Bank in Derby she became increasingly interested in amateur dramatics. Her first professional acting role was as a Green Bean in 'Jack and the Beanstalk' at the Derby Playhouse.

Gwen Taylor trained at East 15 Acting School, London. She played Pamela Dean, the sister of the murder victim Victor Dean, in Murder Must Advertise (1973), and later in the 1970s, she was one of the regulars on Eric Idle's Rutland Weekend Television. She also appeared in other Monty Python spin-offs such as The Life of Brian and Ripping Yarns, and as Chastity and Mrs. Mountbatten in the Beatles parody The Rutles. On The Rutles DVD commentary Eric Idle described her as 'the best comedy actress I ever worked with. She could do anything'. However, she turned down a role in The Meaning of Life as she thought that being covered in intestines as a man exploded in a restaurant would be "tasteless".

In 1990 she was nominated for a Bafta TV award in the best actress category for her role in A Bit of a Do opposite David Jason.

Between 2005 and 2009 she played the role of Peggy Armstrong in the drama Heartbeat.

In July 2011 it was announced that Gwen Taylor would be joining the cast of Coronation Street, playing Anne, the mother of Frank Foster.[1] She departed the series after her character was revealed as the killer of her rapist son on 19 March 2012.

In November 2012 she appeared with Don Warrington in the stage version of Driving Miss Daisy on a UK-wide tour.

Gwen Taylor is married to the playwright Graham Reid. They live in London.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Monty Python's Life of Brian Mrs. Big Nose/Woman with sick donkey/Young Girl
1980 Richard's Things Margaret
2015 The Lady in the Van Mam
2016 Another Mother's Son Lily Vibert filming
1973 Play for Today: Land of Green Ginger Sally Brown
1973 Murder Must Advertise Pamela Dean Miniseries (2 episodes)
1974 John Halifax, Gentleman Ursula March Miniseries (5 episodes)
1975 The Nearly Man Dorothy Hibbert
1976 Within These Walls Miss White
1977 Middleman Fay
1979 Ripping Yarns Eileen Ottershaw BBC sitcom (1 episode)
1980 Sounding Brass Cynthia Wildgoose
1981 Only When I Laugh Victoria Plumtree ITV sitcom (1 episode)
1984 Play for Today: A Coming to Terms for Billy Mavis Martin
1984–86 Duty Free Amy Pearce ITV sitcom (22 episodes)
1988 Yes, Prime Minister Agnes Moorhouse BBC sitcom (1 episode)
1989 A Bit of a Do Rita Simcock BAFTA TV Award nomination (13 episodes)
1989 Sob Sisters Liz
1991 The Sharp End Celia Forrest
1992 Screaming Annie
1993 Conjugal Rites Gen Masefield ITV sitcom (13 episodes)
1997 A Perfect State Laura Fitzgerald
1997 Pilgrim's Rest Tilly
1995, 1999–2003 Barbara Barbara Liversidge ITV sitcom (29 episodes)
2003 Born and Bred Dora Brisley British comedy drama (2 episodes)
2005–10 Heartbeat Peggy Armstrong ITV drama (98 episodes)
2011–12 Coronation Street Anne Foster ITV soap opera (47 episodes)
2016– Tracey Ullman's Show Various BBC Comedy Sketch show (6 episodes)


  1. ^ a b "Actress Gwen shows naked ambition at 72 as she lands a role in Corrie" Derby Telegraph (21 July 2011). Accessed 27 September 2011.
  2. ^ [1]

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