The death of veteran actress Dora Bryan has been announced this week at the grand old age of 91 years old.

This star of stage, screen and radio specialised in playing scatter-brained blondes and even though they were often small parts, she always managed to steal the scene.

Her long and varied career saw her working alongside some of the greats in British entertainment. She was on Hancock’s Half Hour on radio, co-starred in British classic movies such as The Great St Trinians Train Robbery, and Carry On Sergeant appeared in numerous TV shows including The Last of The Summer Wine and Victoria Wood’s Dinner Ladies and she starred in the West End in shows like ‘Hello Dolly’ and ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’.


There was a serious side to her acting too and in 1962 she won a BAFTA Best Actress Award for her role in Tony Richardson’s gritty film A Taste Of Honey.

To gay men, she was the complete epitome of camp and managed to be as outrageous as she could in all the great comic roles that came her way. None so more when towards the end of her career she played go to June Whitfield’s best friend in the Jennifer Saunders Absolutely Fabulous a role, which earned her another BAFTA Best Actress Nomination.

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This tiny woman was in her way, a legend, an Icon and a true star in the old-fashioned sense of the word. The world will be a sadder place now that she has gone.

About the author: Roger Walker-Dack
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