Mollie Sugden dead at 86

Sons at her side

Are You Being Served? star Mollie Sugden has died at the age of 86.

Her agent said she died at the Royal Surrey Hospital after a long illness, with her two sons by her side.

Sitcom writer David Croft led the tributes, saying: 'She would never refuse any sort of comedy situation, no matter how undignified.'

Frank Thornton, who played Captain Peacock, added that she was ‘an excellent comedian’

After spending many years in rep, Sudgen’s breakthrough came with The Liver Birds, which she joined in 1971, playing Mrs Hutchinson.

And a year later she landed the role that was to make her name, as saleswoman Betty Slocombe at Grace Brothers department store. She cracked jokes about her ‘pussy’ on Are You Being Served? until 1985.

Her comedy credits also include Please Sir! and a guest role Little Britain.

Sugden, who lived in Dorking, Surrey, was married to fellow actor William Moore – who played the long-suffering father in Ronnie Corbett’s sitcom Sorry! – never fully recovered from his death nine years ago, her agent Joan Reddin said.

Here she is in action:

Published: 1 Jul 2009

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