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, and appeared in (among others) 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)

6 comments:

  1. Maybe I could re-consider my nipped-in-the-bud career.I'm now about the right size and wouldn't need much make-up.

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    1. I think "battleaxe" is a stage in life to which we all aspire... Jx

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  2. " You were wondering if any of our husbands had ended up with no minds of their own? I don't know about ending up like that; I thought they started like that."

    I had no idea. I love her, with a lot of the ones you mention. Currently I have been on my Last of the Summer Wine kick, I have been watching a show or two before turn in each night. Gosh, that show had a long run.

    We also started showing here Still Open All Hours. Just started watching. It's pretty good, but anything to get a Stephanie Cole fix, I'll take it.

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    1. British comedy classics, one and all. It was most unusual for a comedy series here to last that long (unlike the USA, where even the most cringeworthy shows seem to go on and on and on), but it remained at the top of the listings right up until its final demise - and despite the deaths of many and various of its regular cast list... Jx

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  3. I remember George Michael saying he wanted to guest-star in Last of the Summer Wine because in his words "It's the​ campest show on television."

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    1. I wonder how good the gay cruising is around Holmfirth? George would have known... Jx

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