Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Another pinny has been hung up for good
One of a long line of "formidable British battleaxes", as portrayed by the likes of Mollie Sugden, Violet Carson, Irene Handl, Stephanie Cole, Edna Dore, Joan Sanderson, Yootha Joyce, Patricia Routledge and (of course) Peggy Mount - as well as fellow cast member, that stalwart of the "shooing duster", Kathy Staff - Jane Freeman's tour-de-force as Holmsfirth cafe owner "Ivy" in Last of the Summer Wine was one of the strong female characters who held this show, and Corrie, and so many other UK telly series, together.
Miss Freeman, a graduate of Cardiff's College of Music and Drama [a familiar campus for me, overlooking as it did the infamous cruising ground that was Cardiff's Castle Grounds, but I digress], had a long career on the stage before television success beckoned. Among the parts for which she was renowned were "Kath" in Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane and "Amanda Wingfield" in Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie; before she gained her foothold on screen in the first Blackadder series.
With her demise, we have a mere handful of actresses who can play this dying breed of matriarchs...
RIP Jane Freeman (born Shirley Ann Pithers, 12th June 1935 – 9th March 2017)