Patsy Rowlands
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Patsy Rowlands

Patsy Rowlands
Patsy Rowlands.jpg
Patricia Amy Rowlands

(1931-01-19)19 January 1931
Died22 January 2005(2005-01-22) (aged 74)
Years active1959-2001
TelevisionBless This House
Malcolm Sircom
(m. 1962; div. 1967)
Children1 son

Patricia Amy Rowlands (19 January 1931 – 22 January 2005)[1][2] was an English actress who is best remembered for her roles in the Carry On films series, and as Betty Lewis in the popular ITV Thames sitcom Bless This House, and as Alice Meredith in the Yorkshire Television sitcom Hallelujah!.[3][4]

Early years

She was born in Palmers Green, London and attended the Sacred Heart convent school at Whetstone.[5] While attending, an elocution teacher spotted her potential and encouraged her to pursue a career in acting. She applied for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and won a scholarship aged fifteen.[2]

Early career

Rowlands began her career in the chorus of Annie Get Your Gun, followed by a summer season in Torquay. She then spent several years with the Players' Theatre in London, before making her West End debut in Sandy Wilson's musical Valmouth.[1][6] It was at this time she met her future husband, the composer Malcolm Sircom. They divorced in 1967.[]

Other West End theatre credits included Semi-Detached with Laurence Olivier and directed by Tony Richardson (with whom she was to work often, appearing in his 1963 film Tom Jones), Shut Your Eyes and Think of England, with Donald Sinden, The Seagull and Ben Travers's The Bed Before Yesterday, both directed by Lindsay Anderson and When We Are Married for Ronald Eyre.[7][5] She also starred in Cameron Mackintosh's revival of Oliver! in the mid-1990s, as well as playing Jack's mother in the original London cast of Sondheim's Into the Woods.[6] Her final appearance was as Mrs Pearce in the National Theatre's production of My Fair Lady which also starred Jonathan Pryce.[8]

Rowlands also appeared in film and TV versions of two of Frances Hodgson Burnett's books: "Little Lord Fauntleroy" and "A Little Princess."[9][10] In the 1980 TV movie "Little Lord Fauntleroy," with Alec Guinness (as Earl of Dorincourt) and Ricky Schroder (as "Ceddy", Little Lord Fauntleroy), she played a village lady named Mrs. Dibble.[11] In the BBC production of the 1986 TV miniseries "A Little Princess," she played the role of the "Baker's Wife," who gives Sara 6 buns for fourpence and later takes under her wing a homeless beggar girl Sara had befriended.[12]

Rowlands also appeared quite frequently on television early in her career. Amongst the various series in which she appeared, were several appearances in Gert and Daisy (1959) as Bonnie, as well as appearing in 2 episodes of Danger Man (as different, unrelated characters) and in The Avengers episode "Love All".[13][14][15] Rowlands played the role of a love interest for George called "Beryl" in the 1979 Christmas special and final episode of George and Mildred

Carry On films

She made her debut in the Carry On films in Carry On Again Doctor in 1969 and soon became a regular member of the team, usually playing the dowdy, put-upon wife or the long-suffering secretary.[4] Between 1969 and 1975 she appeared in nine of the films in increasingly large roles, appearing in Carry On Again Doctor, Carry On Loving, Carry On Henry, Carry On Matron, Carry On Abroad and Carry On Dick - more substantial roles include Carry On At Your Convenience, Carry On Girls and Carry On Behind.[16]

On 7 March 1971 she starred in a single episode (You've Really Landed Me In It This Time) of popular ITV sitcom Doctor at Large, with Barry Evans and George Layton, as a nymphomaniac secretary, a role she seemed to relish and had played similarly in Carry On Loving.[17][18]

From 1971 to 1976, she played Betty, the feckless neighbour in the popular ITV sitcom Bless This House, which starred fellow Carry On star Sid James.[16] Her other television credits at this time included a couple of episodes of For The Love of Ada, playing a pregnant woman in the maternity ward also appearances with comedians such as Les Dawson and Dick Emery. In the early 1980s, she appeared with Thora Hird in the sitcom Hallelujah!, in which they played an aunt and niece in The Salvation Army. In 1991 she appeared in an episode of Zorro filmed in Madrid, Spain.[19][20]

Later years

Towards the end of her life, Rowlands appeared in several revivals of major musicals such as Oliver! at the London Palladium and My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.[21]

Later television credits include The Cazalets, The Canterbury Tales, The Cater Street Hangman, Get Well Soon, Vanity Fair, Murder Most English, and Bottom for the BBC. In 2002, she was a guest on the paranormal series Most Haunted. Rowlands took part in several DVD audio commentaries along with other surviving stars of the Carry On films in 2003.[22]


Rowlands developed breast cancer and had to abandon her plans to become an acting teacher, and quietly retire. She died of the disease in an East Sussex hospice, three days after her 74th birthday. She was survived by her only son, Alan (born 1963).[5]


Title Year Role Notes
Stuff and Nonsense 1960 June Pimble TV movie
One Way Pendulum 1961 Sylvia Groomkirby TV movie
The Final Test 1961 Cora TV movie
On the Fiddle 1961 Evie
Over the Odds 1961 Marilyn
A Kind of Loving 1962 Dorothy
The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse 1962 Daisy TV movie
In the Doghouse 1962 Barmaid
The Brain 1962 Young Woman at Dance Hall Uncredited
Not At All 1962 Mrs Chass TV movie
Tom Jones 1963 Honor
A Stitch in Time 1963 Amy
Comedy Workshop: Love and Maud Carver 1964 Maud Carver
Dateline Diamonds 1965 Mrs Edgecomb
Take A Sapphire 1966 Leopoldina TV movie
State Of The Union 1968 Gladys TV Series
Carry On Again Doctor 1969 Miss Fosdick
Carry On Loving 1970 Miss Dempsey
Carry On Henry 1971 Ex-Queen
Please Sir! 1971 Angela Cutforth
Carry On At Your Convenience 1971 Hortence Withering
Carry On Matron 1972 Miss Banks
Bless This House 1972 Betty Lewis
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 1972 Cook
Carry On Abroad 1972 Miss Dobbs
Carry On Girls 1973 Mildred Bumble
Carry On Dick 1974 Mrs Giles
Carry On Behind 1975 Linda Upmore
Joseph Andrews 1977 Gammer Andrews
Sammy's Super T-Shirt 1978 Mum
Tess 1979 The Landlady
Little Lord Fauntleroy 1980 Mrs Dibble TV movie
Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective 1981 Madame Tarantella TV movie
When We Are Married 1987 Lottie Grady TV movie
Crimestrike 1990
In Dreams 1992 Royalist Housewife TV movie
The Cater Street Hangman 1998 Mrs Dumphy TV movie
Vanity Fair 1998 Mrs Tinker TV Mini-Series
The Cazalets 2001 Miss Millament TV Series
The Princess and the Pea 2002 Sasha Voice, (final film role)

Television roles


Year Title Role Notes
1959 Gert and Daisy Bonnie
1961 Danger Man Mrs. Harkness
1964 Danger Man Mrs. Farebrother
1971 Doctor at Large Liz Hickle
1971-1976 Bless This House Betty Lewis
1974-1977 The Squirrels Susan
1975 Not on Your Nellie Clarissa Cholmondeley-Burnside Season 2 Episode 2 "High Society"
1979 3 2 1 Herself
1979 George and Mildred Beryl, the barmaid
1980 The Nesbitts Are Coming WPC Naylor
1981 Kinvig Netta Kinvig
1982-1986 In Loving Memory Tiger-Lilly Longstaff
1983-1984 Hallelujah! Alice Meredith
1992 Bottom Lil Potato
1997 Get Well Soon Mrs Clapton


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Jackanory Narrator 5 episodes
1975 The Basil Brush Show Guest
1987-1992 Rainbow Auntie


Year Title Role Notes
1961 Danger Man Mrs. Harkness
1964 Danger Man Mrs. Farebrother
1965 Out of the Unknown - Come Buttercup, Come Daisy, Come...? Anne Lovejoy
1976 Cinema Fire Safety Short Film : ' Fire Doors Save Lives '. Ada : Tealady Now listed under IMDB's Working Title Public Information Film , & , in Rowland's IMDB's Filmography.
2001 The Cazalets The Governess


  1. ^ a b "BBC News - Carry On Star Patsy Rowlands dies". Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Patsy Rowlands - Obituaries - The Independent". Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "Patsy Rowlands - British actress".
  4. ^ a b "Patsy Rowlands - Obituaries - The Stage". 1 February 2005.
  5. ^ a b c Barker, Dennis (26 January 2005). "Patsy Rowlands". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Patsy Rowlands - Theatricalia".
  7. ^ "Patsy Rowlands, Actress in the 'Carry On' Comedies, Dies at 71". The New York Times=. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Wolf, Matt (21 March 2001). "Review: 'My Fair Lady'".
  9. ^ "Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980)".
  10. ^ "A Little Princess Part 5 (1987)".
  11. ^ "Little Lord Fauntleroy 1980 TV Movie". Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ "A Little Princess Full Cast and Crew". Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ "Patsy Rowlands".
  14. ^ "The Danger Man Website". Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Avengers: Love All (1969) - Peter Sykes - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  16. ^ a b "Patsy Rowlands".
  17. ^ "You've Really Landed Me in It This Time (1971)".
  18. ^ "Patsy Rowlands: Her Carry On Story".
  19. ^ "Miracle of the Pueblo". 8 December 1991.
  20. ^ "New World Zorro Production Notes".
  21. ^ "Patsy Rowlands".
  22. ^ "Robert Ross DVD". Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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