Dame June Whitfield dies aged 93

Discussion in 'Celebrity Scuttlebutt' started by Barbara Fan, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Dame June Whitfield - celebrated for her comic roles in BBC sitcom Terry and June and cult favourite Absolutely Fabulous - has died aged 93.

    The London-born actress was a regular fixture on TV and radio for six decades, starring in Carry On films, Hancock's Half Hour, and even Friends.

    At 89, Whitfield appeared in BBC soap EastEnders as Sister Ruth, a nun with a secret. At 92, she was made a dame.

    Her agent said she died peacefully on Friday night.

    Tributes to her long and successful career in comedy are being made on Twitter.

    Impressionist Rory Bremner called Whitfield the "go-to comedy actress for three generations".

    TV producer Jon Plowman, who worked on Absolutely Fabulous, said there was "no-one with a better ability to just 'place' a line, always an act of utter precision".


    Obituary: A star in her own right
    Dame June Whitfield was a constant presence in British post-war comedy.

    Often playing the female stooge to some of Britain's most famous entertainers, she called herself "a comic's tart".

    But after six decades on radio and television, she established herself as a star in her own right.

    The actress always said she was "very bad at getting round to things".

    But from her early radio appearances in the 1950s, through to her scatty antics on Absolutely Fabulous, she featured in more than 1,300 radio and television shows.

     
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  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Legend

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    So terribly sad, Dame June Whitfield was such an iconic television star.

    Did you read the extended obituary on the BBC site? Apparently she once dated a young Larry Hagman!

    Very very few stars of the Carry Ons are still with us now, Leslie Phillips, Jim Dale and Barbara Windsor would be the three main surviving cast members.

    Swami
     
  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    June’s always seemed very much of the “roll up your sleeves and get on with it” school. And it’s served her well as she’s never been short of work.

    Her At A Glance book is an enjoyable one to dip into. Basically an annotated picture book cum bio. But when you’ve worked with so many greats who needs more.

    And along similar lines...

    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-...eld-a-life-in-pictures?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
     
  4. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Sad that the AbFab family is no longer whole. She lived a long time, though.
     
  5. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The 2 things i will remember her for are Terry and June and Carry On Girls which was the first Carry on film I really remember as a child. I thought it was "saucy" ;)

    She was only being quoted in the press yesterday in a recent interview.

    RIP June Whitfield, she survived a long time in the business.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. Terry & June is the first thing that comes to mind for me too. They get a hard time for being cosy and middle-class, but they’re better crafted and less twee than the soundbites would have you believe. And that goes double for the earlier series, Happy Ever After. Both still incredibly funny.

    They were huge in their day. That’s why I’m a little surprised the majority of press headlines about June’s death list her only as “the Ab Fab star”. Perhaps that means I’m now “of a certain age”.
     
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  7. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Star

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    I'll always remember her as Edina's ditzy mom. RIP.
     
  8. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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  9. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Common Market; political allegiances; spouse foibles. All delivered with perfect timing and a knowing glint in the eye:




    JUNE: If you must know, I'm a Liberal.
    TERRY: Good... God!!



    TERRY [looking over June's lists of his bad habits]: Oh darling. I hardly ever use that word.
    JUNE: You do.
    TERRY: Ah - but only to other motorists.
    JUNE: And to me.
    TERRY: Well, from now on, that's out.

    JUNE: I must say, you're being very good about this.
    TERRY: Well, I told you. This was the way to do it. [glances at the next item on the list] What the f...!?
    JUNE: Uh! You nearly said it.
     
  10. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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  11. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator

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    When I was young I was always confused by these shows because they were almost identical but the characters in Happy Ever After were meant to be different to those in Terry and June as indicated by Terry and June having different surnames.

    Both series were very twee and middle class and wouldn't make me laugh today but back in the 1970s it seemed hilarious. We must have been easily pleased back then.
     
  12. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The change in surname was a legal thing. The creators of the Happy Ever After characters didn't want to continue as they felt they'd explored all the avenues, but the Beeb didn't want to end it and decided to make just enough tweaks to the series (title, location, characters' surnames) to prevent legal action. Somehow it all seemed to go out of the window by the time they got round to remaking one of the Happy Ever After episodes word for word.


    I've commented in other threads during a rewatch of both series that a few elements of the humour aren't as palatable today as they were then (there's the occasional undercurrent of sexism and racial stereotypes). But those moments are in a minority.

    Overall, though, I feel the writing and performances hold up really well. And I don't see why something can't be both middle class and funny. Both series still make me laugh.
     
  13. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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  14. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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