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Popular comic actress Dora Bryan dies aged 91

Bryan's many credits spanned classics on stage and screen

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'She was a star, and a mum.' Dora Bryan

Much-loved screen and stage actress Dora Bryan has died aged 91.

Born in 1923, Bryan's first taste of acting came when she appeared in pantomime as a child in pre-war Manchester. She went on to become known for her comic roles in popular TV series including Absolutely Fabulous and Last of the Summer Wine.

But her first love was theatre, and she was acclaimed for her performances including Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit and the indomitable old lady in A Cream Cracker Under the Settee as part of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads.

She also enjoyed a long film career, which took in classics including A Taste of Honey, Carry On Sergeant, The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery and The Cockleshell Heroes.

In later life the actress lived in Brighton, where she owned a hotel with her husband Bill Lawton. An exhibition was held at Rottingdean Museum last year celebrating her career.

Her son Daniel Lawton, who was by his mother's bedside in Hove when she died, told The Argus: "It was heartbreaking but it was peaceful. She just left us. She was a tiny woman but her constitution was incredible.

"She loved being on stage, that's what she wanted. Not only did she do it, but she was good at it. She was a star, and a mum."

Tributes to Bryan have poured in on Twitter - here's a selection:


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