Gwen Taylor

Gwen Taylor (born 19 February 1939)[1] is an English actress who has appeared in many British television programmes. She is known for her roles as Amy Pearce in the sitcom Duty Free (1984–86); Barbara Liversidge in the sitcom Barbara (1999–2003); Peggy Armstrong in the drama series Heartbeat (2005–09), and Anne Foster in the soap opera Coronation Street (2011–12). She was nominated for the 1990 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her role as Rita Simcock in the comedy series A Bit of a Do (1989). Her film appearances include Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) and The Lady in the Van (2015).

Gwen Taylor
Born (1939-02-19) 19 February 1939 (age 81)
Derby, England
Years active1972–present
(m. after 1996)


Taylor was born in Crich, Derbyshire. Her initial career was in banking, but when she was an assistant area manager for the National Provincial Bank in Derby she became increasingly interested in amateur dramatics. Her first professional acting role was as a Green Bean in 'Jack and the Beanstalk' at the Derby Playhouse.

Gwen Taylor trained at East 15 Acting School, London. She played Pamela Dean, the sister of the murder victim Victor Dean, in Murder Must Advertise (1973). In 1975 she played the role of Jack Regan’s girlfriend, a probation officer named Anne Knightley in fourth episode of the second series of the British police drama, The Sweeney: episode Big Brother.

Later in the 1970s, she was one of the regulars on Eric Idle's Rutland Weekend Television. She also appeared in other Monty Python spin-offs such as The Life of Brian and Ripping Yarns, and as Chastity and Mrs. Mountbatten in the Beatles parody All You Need Is Cash. On the film's DVD commentary Eric Idle described her as 'the best comedy actress I ever worked with. She could do anything'. However, she turned down a role in The Meaning of Life as she thought that being covered in intestines as a man exploded in a restaurant would be "tasteless".[citation needed]

In 1990 she was nominated for a BAFTA as Best Actress for her role in A Bit of a Do opposite Sir David Jason. Between 2005 and 2009 she played the role of Peggy Armstrong in the drama Heartbeat. In July 2011 it was announced that Gwen Taylor would be joining the cast of Coronation Street, playing Anne, the mother of Frank Foster.[1] She departed the series after her character was revealed as the killer of her rapist son on 19 March 2012. In November 2012 she appeared with Don Warrington in the stage version of Driving Miss Daisy on a UK-wide tour.

Taylor played various roles in Tracey Ullman's Show on the BBC in 2016 and 2017, and played Lillian in an episode of the Sky 1 sitcom Trollied in 2018.

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Monty Python's Life of Brian Mrs. Big Nose/Woman with sick donkey/Young Girl
1980 Richard's Things Margaret
2015 The Lady in the Van Mam
2017 Small Town Killers Miss Nippleworthy Original Denmark title: Dræberne fra Nibe
2017 Another Mother's Son Lily Vibert
1972 Dead of Night Tessa BBC anthology (1 episode)
1972 Kate Jo ITV drama (1 episode)
1973 Play for Today Sally Brown 1 episode: Land of Green Ginger
1973 Murder Must Advertise Pamela Dean Miniseries (2 episodes)
1974 Badger's Set Leila TV sitcom pilot
1974 Crown Court Anne Wills ITV drama (2 episodes)
1974 John Halifax, Gentleman Ursula March Miniseries (5 episodes)
1974 Village Hall Hilary ITV comedy drama (1 episode)
1974 Z Cars Anne Evans Crime series (1 episode)
1975 The Nearly Man Dorothy Hibbert ITV drama (4 episodes)
1975 The Punch Review Various BBC sketch-show (1 episode)
1975–76 Rutland Weekend Television Various ITV sketch-show (9 episodes)
1975 Space: 1999 Nurse ITV sci-fi (1 episode)
1975 The Sweeney Anne Knightly ITV crime (1 episode)
1975 Within These Walls Miss White ITV drama (1 episode)
1976 Second City Firsts The woman BBC drama (1 episode)
1976 The New Avengers Doctor Marlow ITV action (1 episode)
1977 Middlemen Fay BBC sitcom (3 episodes)
1978 Hazell Mrs. Ford ITV drama (1 episode)
1978 The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash Mrs. Iris Mountbatten/Chastity TV film
1978 Send in the Girls Eileen ITV drama (1 episode)
1979 Ripping Yarns Eileen Ottershaw BBC sitcom (1 episode)
1980 Sounding Brass Cynthia Wildgoose ITV comedy (6 episodes)
1981 Only When I Laugh Victoria Plumtree ITV sitcom (1 episode)
1982 Sorry I'm a Stranger Here Myself Bebe ITV sitcom (1 episode)
1983 Goodnight and God Bless Sandra ITV sitcom (1 episode)
1984 Play for Today Mavis Martin 1 Episode: A Coming to Terms for Billy
1984–86 Duty Free Amy Pearce ITV sitcom (22 episodes)
1985 Alas Smith & Jones Various BBC sketch show (1 episode)
1985 Lytton's Diary Angela Monroe ITV drama (1 episode)
1986 Slip-Up Charmian Biggs BBC television film
1988 Colin's Sandwich Mrs. D'Arcy BBC sitcom (1 episode)
1988 Yes, Prime Minister Agnes Moorhouse BBC sitcom (1 episode)
1989 A Bit of a Do Rita Simcock BAFTA TV Award nomination (13 episodes)
1989 Sob Sisters Liz ITV sitcom (7 episodes)
1990 Screenplay Winnie 1 episode
1990 Mistress of Suspense Olivia Emery 1 episode
1991 Murder Most Horrid Beryl BBC comedy (1 episode)
1991 The Sharp End Celia Forrest BBC comedy (8 episodes)
1992 Inspector Morse Margaret Cliff ITV detective series (1 episode)
1992 Screaming Annie BBC sitcom (8 episodes)
1993–94 Conjugal Rites Gen Masefield ITV sitcom (13 episodes)
1994 The Detectives Annie BBC comedy (1 episode)
1995 Moving Story Nesta ITV comedy drama (1 episode)
1995 Some Kind of Life Sandra ITV television film
1995 Class Act Virginia Gilmore ITV comedy drama (1 episode)
1997 A Perfect State Laura Fitzgerald BBC sitcom (7 episodes)
1997 Pilgrim's Rest Tilly BBC sitcom (6 episodes)
1997 Wycliffe Alma Petheric ITV crime series (1 episode)
1995, 1999–2003 Barbara Barbara Liversidge ITV sitcom (29 episodes)
2002 Midsomer Murders Frances LeBon Episode "Ring Out Your Dead"
2003 Belonging Margaret BBC drama (1 episode)
2003 Born and Bred Dora Brisley British comedy drama (2 episodes)
2005 Fat Friends Mrs. Thompson ITV drama (1 episode)
2009 Doc Martin Mrs Selkirk Episode "The Departed"
2005–10 Heartbeat Peggy Armstrong ITV drama (98 episodes)
2011–12 Coronation Street Anne Foster ITV soap opera (47 episodes)
2016–17 Tracey Ullman's Show Various BBC Comedy sketch show (6 episodes)
2018 Trollied Lillian Sky 1 sitcom (1 episode)


  1. ^ a b "Actress Gwen shows naked ambition at 72 as she lands a role in Corrie". Derby Telegraph. 21 July 2011. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011.

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