She gained experience with repertory companies in Scotland and Wales and, while in Llanelli, met John Staff, a schoolteacher who read lessons in a local church. Create a commenting name to join the debate. Staff and Owen had been the only cast members to appear in all 21 series to that date of a programme that attracted up to 22 million viewers and continues to run to this day. DOMINIC SANDBROOK: Outrageous. Log in to update your newsletter preferences, Monday - Friday plus breaking news alerts by email. Start your Independent Premium subscription today.

When the pilot programme was shot, Nora Batty saw two men visible from her garden taking away the television sets of a defaulting neighbour, and hastily covered up her bloomers on the washing line.

'active' : ''"> The actress spent more than three decades playing the character in the BBC comedy Last Of The Summer Wine. Staff's genuine warmth and sincerity always showed through Nora's peremptory ways, and prevented her from becoming either a lifeless caricature or a totally unsympathetic bore. This was a result not only of Staff's portrayal – complete with padding to make her the fat and ugly Nora envisaged in the script – but also the frequent mentions of her wrinkled stockings made by Terry Wogan on his Radio 2 show. Please Her first big break was in the series Castle Haven for Yorkshire TV (1969), but she regularly played Doris Luke in Crossroads from 1978 onwards, and for one week, by arrangement with the producers, worked on both it and Last of the Summer Wine. Gerald Harper, an old friend from rep days, persuaded her to return and she worked as a £3-a-day extra in television. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to

Her religious upbringing led her never to drink alcohol or smoke. Trump sends in Rudy Giuliani and son Eric to Pennsylvania who claim there are... Nearly 60 percent of Americans believe Kamala Harris is The 'Trojan horse of the hard-Left' and that Joe... On what grounds is Trump taking legal action in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania? Her cult status as Nora Batty also led Staff to appear with the comedian Les Dawson, first in his comedy playlet "Where There's a Will" (Dawson's Weekly, 1975), then for the 11th and final series of Sez Les (1976) and its successor, Dawson and Friends (1977). She is survived by John and their daughters. or debate this issue live on our message boards. Anti-Trump protesters clash with NYPD in Manhattan's Greenwich Village as National Guard is activated in... JUSTIN WEBB: What if two 'Presidents' demand to be sworn in? On what grounds is Trump taking legal action in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania? Staff always insisted that she was like Nora in some ways - both were strong northern ladies from the working classes - but highly unlike her in others. She began four years later, having changed her real name, Minnie Higginbottom, to Katherine Brant, playing the part of the old mother in William Douglas-Home's play The Chiltern Hundreds, who says of the electorally defeated war leader: "As long as Mr Churchill is alive, he will ALWAYS be the prime minister.".

From then on she called herself Kathy Staff, and it was under this name that she first appeared in Last of The Summer Wine in 1973. continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates.

Joe Gladwin died shortly after the 1986 Christmas special, leaving Batty as a widow continuing to fend off Compo's amorous advances, until Bill Owen's death in 1999.

Mike Grady, who played Barry, said: 'She was blessed with a wonderful, quite formidable face, which I hope isn't disrespectful, but she knew it. After acting in an episode of the Yorkshire Television schools series How We Used to Live (1968), Staff was cast by the same ITV company in her first soap opera, Castle Haven (1969).

Thousands of shops and cafés remain open and rush hour Tubes are rammed - but some roads look eerily empty as England begins month of restrictions, Why the long face? From 1974, she also played the corner shop owner Vera Hopkins in Coronation Street, and was a customer of Ronnie Barker's shop in Open All Hours from 1976. Please Veteran actress Kathy Staff as the nation's favourite battleaxe, Nora Batty. The actor Kathy Staff, who has died aged 80, dominated the BBC's hit television comedy Last of the Summer Wine as the formidable Nora Batty, as well as playing leading characters in the television soaps Coronation Street and Crossroads for ITV.

By then using her married name, Kathy Staff, she also landed a prized supporting role in the film A Kind of Loving (1962), one of the "kitchen sink" dramas that portrayed working-class life as it really was. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss Police raid flat hosting huge party for more than 30 guests and find... A THIRD of hotel and food businesses had 'no or low' confidence they would survive to next year even BEFORE... Britons could launch class-action lawsuit for BILLIONS in compensation for Government 'falsely imprisoning'... England locks down: Drinkers spill onto the streets after pubs close for the final time as second national... Travel bosses urge Dominic Raab to lift the travel ban on 'low-risk' foreign holidays when the second... Lockdown One vs Lockdown Two: As England wakes to new shutdown... here's how the new curbs could affect you... Archbishops urge public not to panic buy and appeal for 'calm, courage and compassion' as England goes back... Sniffer dogs could be BETTER at spotting Covid-19 than swab tests, scientists claim after Finnish airport... Shopdown! Trump sends in Rudy Giuliani and son Eric to Pennsylvania who claim there are 'fraudulent' mail-in ballots that are part of the 'concerted effort of the crooks that run the Democrat Party', Nearly 60 percent of Americans believe Kamala Harris is The 'Trojan horse of the hard-Left' and that Joe Biden will NOT serve a full four-year term.

She's the type of woman who if she shows any feelings thinks it's a sign of weakness. No comments have so far been submitted. Staff completed her 29th series this year.

Her mother sang with a quartet. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? On leaving school, she trained as a shorthand typist and took an office job with the National Gas & Oil Engine Company in Ashton-under-Lyne. She had been recommended to the director by Alan Bennett, another northerner, whom she had never met, though she had always wanted to act in his work. But Vera's plans to become part of the community were sabotaged by her harridan mother-in-law Megan's heavy-handedness with customers. "Crossroads were very good about me combining the two. By the time she left her secondary school at 14, she was head girl. Woman is fined for breaching Covid rules after taking 360-mile round trip from Leicester to Wales to check her horse was OK, How Covid-19 will shape our homes in 2021: Property experts predict demand for all-white kitchens that 'look clean' and outdoor pizza ovens for socially-distant garden gatherings, 'You must be warm under there!' Born in July 1928 as Minnie Higginbottom, she initially used the stage name Katherine Grant.

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Off screen, Staff liked to drop into Liberty's or the Ritz for afternoon tea when in London, and always dressed elegantly. She played Mrs Oliphant, a nosy neighbour, alongside Alan Bates as the North Country draughtsman forced into marriage when his girlfriend became pregnant and Thora Hird as his dragon-like mother-in-law. She herself had been happily brought up by parents who were uncensorious Christians deeply committed to the temperance organisation Band of Hope, for which they gave lectures against alcohol; Staff never smoked or drank, and later often prayed with her own family, including a daughter who became a deacon. try again, the name must be unique, Please She was actually a very sweet woman.'. Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group, Treat yourself to the perfect entertainment bundle with NOW TV's offers, Get a discount code to save on your internet security, Discover a range of promo codes on kitchen appliances, Find Just Eat's special deals and offers this week, Listen to podcasts and books for less with these offers, Arizona polling center is forced to CLOSE as armed Trump supporters lay siege over 'early call' - as President launches legal action to challenge result in Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia while counting continues, 'F*** you fascist': Foul-mouthed anti-Trump protester spits in a police officer's face and is tackled to the ground in New York, 'Do you think we are fools?'

Tough love: Kathy Staff as Nora Batty shooing away Clegg (Peter Sallis), Compo (Bill Owen) and Foggy (Brian Wilde). • Kathy Staff (Minnie Higginbottom), actor, born 12 July 1928; died 13 December 2008, Character actor best known for her roles in Last of the Summer Wine and Crossroads. Arizona polling center is forced to CLOSE as armed Trump supporters lay siege - while Republicans launch... 'F*** you fascist': Foul-mouthed female anti-Trump protester spits in a police officer's face and is tackled... 'Do you think we are fools?' Are you sure you want to submit this vote? Most liked, -1) ?

The actress Kathy Staff turned Nora Batty into a television icon. In 1949, at the age of 21, she turned professional and changed her name to Katherine Brant, taking the surname from a shopfront she saw while on a bus to Oldham. A size 16 in real life, Mrs Staff had to wear layers of padding to play the generously proportioned Nora. the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate.

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