Vale: Liz Smith

Veteran UK actress, best known for The Royle Family and The Vicar of Dibley, has died.

Veteran UK actress Liz Smith, best known for The Royle Family and The Vicar of Dibley, has died aged 95.

She died on Christmas Eve, according to reports.

Smith, known affectionately as Nana in the Royle Family, was known by her stage name, but born Betty Gleadle on 11 December 1921, recently celebrating her 95th birthday.

Her death comes in the same year as her Royle Family co-star Caroline Aherne, who died in July.

She also played eccentric Mrs Cropley in The Vicar of Dibley alongside Dawn French.

She appeared alongside Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in the 2005 film Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, and won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress as Maggie Smith’s organ-playing mother in the film A Private Function.

In 2009, the Prince of Wales presented Smith with an MBE and told her that the sofa-bound characters of the Royle Family were “nothing like my family, thank God”.

Smith retired from acting that year following a series of strokes.

However in an inadvertent tribute to the actress, the episode of the Royle Family in which Nana dies, was repeated on the BBC during Christmas week.

Source: ITV

2 Responses

  1. I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that Mrs Cropley died in The Vicar of Dibley because this actress was too elderly/ill to go on playing her. Glad to hear that she had many more years.

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