Peggy Mount

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Peggy Mount
Peggy Mount.jpg
Born Margaret Rose Mount
(1915-05-02)2 May 1915[1]
Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England
Died 13 November 2001(2001-11-13) (aged 86)[2]
Northwood, London, England
Occupation Actress

Margaret Rose "Peggy" Mount, OBE (2 May 1915 – 13 November 2001), was an English actress of stage and screen. She was perhaps best known for playing battleaxe characters, though her real personality was said to have been far removed from such roles.[3] She was also well known for her distinctive voice.[4]

Early life[edit]

Mount was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex and educated at Leigh North Street School in the town. Her father died when she was nine and her childhood was unhappy. Her love of acting began with the dramatic society of the Wesley Methodist Church which she attended.[4][5] She first worked as a secretary and took lessons from a drama tutor, Phyllis Reader, in her spare time.[4]

She progressed through amateur theatre and wartime concert party productions, and in 1944 played her first straight part, in Hindle Wakes at the Hippodrome, Keighley,[4] before joining the Harry Hanson Court Players for three years, then working in repertory theatre in Colchester, Preston, Dundee, Wolverhampton and Liverpool.[4]


Mount shot to fame in London's West End playing the battleaxe mother-in-law Emma Hornett in Sailor Beware in 1955, having originated the role at Worthing Rep. She made her film début in the screen version of Panic in the Parlour a year later.[3][6]

Mount is also known for her many roles in television comedy programmes. In 1958, she appeared as a landlady in The Adventures Of Mr. Pastry, and in the same year landed her first starring television role in The Larkins, an early ITV comedy series featuring David Kossoff and Peggy Mount as a Cockney couple, Alf and Ada Larkins, and their family.[3][4][7] In 1961-62, Mount appeared in another ITV sitcom called Winning Widows, opposite Avice Landone, as two sisters who have each survived three husbands.

She followed that from 1966 to 1968 with George and the Dragon, a sitcom also featuring Sid James[3] and John Le Mesurier. From 1971 to 1972 she starred in Lollipop Loves Mr Mole with Hugh Lloyd and Pat Coombs.[8][9] Between 1977 and 1981, she starred in the Yorkshire Television sitcom You're Only Young Twice, as the forthright Flora Petty who often bullied her friend Cissie Lupin (played by Pat Coombs).[6][8]

Her other films included The Naked Truth alongside Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers in 1957,[6] and Ladies Who Do alongside Harry H. Corbett, Jon Pertwee and Robert Morley in 1963. She also played Mrs Bumble in the 1968 film of the musical Oliver!.[4]

Stage work[edit]

However, Mount's career flourished most on stage. In 1960, she went to London's Old Vic as the Nurse to Judi Dench's Juliet, also appearing there in the play All Things Bright and Beautiful.[7] In the West End she was another dreadful battleaxe in J. B. Priestley's When We Are Married in 1970.[4]

For the next four years she toured, notably as Mrs Malaprop in The Rivals.[7] At Birmingham Rep in 1977 she was a memorable Mother Courage and appeared in the Ben Travers farces Plunder and Rookery Nook.[4]

In the 1980s, she worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company[6] at Stratford-upon-Avon and the Barbican Centre, and made her final stage appearance in 1996 at the Chichester Festival Theatre in Uncle Vanya with Trevor Eve, Imogen Stubbs and Frances Barber.[4]

Later years[edit]

Mount later appeared on television in programmes such as Doctor Who (in "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" in 1988/89 (in which she played the cameo role of The Stallslady in the first and fourth episodes of the story) ),[10] The Tomorrow People (in which she played the cameo role of Mrs Butterworth in the second episode of the 1994 story "The Monsoon Man") and Inspector Morse ("Fat Chance").[6] Mount also appeared in the 1991 T-Bag Christmas special, "T-Bag's Christmas Turkey". She was awarded the OBE in 1996.[11]

She also appeared in several radio plays for the BBC. In 1983, she performed as the medium Madame Arcati in Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit on BBC Radio 4, a role she also played on stage.

In her later years, she lost her sight and suffered a series of strokes, forcing her to retire.[12] She died at Denville Hall, the actors' retirement home in North London.



  1. ^ GRO Register of Births JUN 1915 4a 1389 ROCHFORD mmn = Penney
  2. ^ GRO Register of Deaths NOV 2001 B40B 241 HILLINGDON, Aged 86, DoB = 2 May 1915
  3. ^ a b c d "Peggy Mount: Lovable battle-axe". BBC News. 2001-11-13. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Peggy Mount: Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 2001-11-14. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ a b c d e Lewis, Paul (2001-11-16). "Peggy Mount, 85, British Actress Who Made Grown Men Tremble". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  7. ^ a b c "Peggy Mount dies aged 86". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  8. ^ a b "Pat Coombs: Obituary". Daily Telegraph. 2002-05-23. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  9. ^ Kilgallon, Gerry (1971-10-26). "My View Last Night". Evening Times. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  10. ^ ""The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" episode guide". BBC Online. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Actress Peggy Mount dies". BBC News. 2001-11-13. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 

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