Michele Dotrice (born 27 September 1948) is an English actress, best known for her portrayal of Betty Spencer, the long-suffering wife of Frank Spencer, played by Michael Crawford, in the BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, which ran from 1973 to 1978, and returned in 2016 for a special.
(1987–2009; his death)
|Relatives||Karen Dotrice (sister)|
Her first significant role was in the 1962 13-part BBC TV adaptation of The Old Curiosity Shop in which she played Nell, and she appeared in The Witches for Hammer Films in 1966. In 1970 she had starring roles in the horror thrillers And Soon the Darkness (1970) and The Blood on Satan's Claw (1970). Her other film appearances include Jane Eyre (1970) with George C. Scott and the 1976 comedy Not Now, Comrade.
It was her appearance in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em that made her a household name, and she played the role for five years from 1973. In February 2016 the BBC announced that she would be reprising the role in a one-off special, to be broadcast as part of the Sport Relief charity fundraiser event.
She played Felicity in Season 1 Episode 3 "Buried in the cold cold ground" of the Jason King TV series, which aired on the 6th of October 1971. She played Lady Percy in the BBC’s Henry IV parts 1 and 2 in 1979.
In 1981 she took the leading role in the short-lived sitcom Chintz, which aired on ITV. In the mid-1990s she appeared for several episodes in the period drama Bramwell. She appeared in the film Captain Jack (1999) with Bob Hoskins. She has made numerous guest appearances in well-known British television series, including Midsomer Murders (1 episode, 1998), Holby City (1 episode, 2002), Murder in Suburbia (as Cindy in Episode 6, Season 2, 2005), and the BBC daytime soap opera Doctors (1 episode, 2008). In addition, she made several appearances in a 2004 Nottingham-set BBC comedy-drama entitled 'A Thing Called Love', which starred Paul Nicholls and Roy Barraclough among others.
In 2012 she toured in an adapted version of The Ladykillers, playing the role of Mrs Wilberforce. In 2014, she played Pam Chandler, a suspected murderer, in the last episode of series three of Death in Paradise. In 2015, she played Marion, mother to Christine in the Inside No. 9 episode The 12 Days of Christine. In 2016, she played Nancy, the faithful dresser and woman of all work to the main character, in the West End production of Nell Gwynn. In 2017 she played Jessie in the stage musical The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End.
In 2018 she returned to television playing Edna Friendship in A Very English Scandal.
- The Old Curiosity Shop bbc.co.uk, retrieved 15 October 2017
- And Soon the Darkness tcm.com, retrieved 15 October 2017
- The Blood on Satan's Claw tcm.com, retrieved 15 October 2017
- Jane Eyre tcm.com, retrieved 15 October 2017
- Not Now, Comrade tcm.com, retrieved 15 October 2017
- Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em comedy.co.uk, retrieved 15 October 2017
- Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em bbc.co.uk, retrieved 15 October 2017
- Lewis, Roz. "Where are they now... ? 'Some Mothers Do ’Ave' ’Em actress Michele Dotrice" Express, 22 October 2016
- "Michael Crawford to reprise Frank Spencer for Sport Relief". BBC News. 17 February 2016.
- Chintz comedy.co.uk, retrieved 15 October 2017
- Paton, Maureen. "I'm the luckiest lady alive says Michele Dotrice" Express, 22 October 2012
- " 'Death in Paradise', Episode 8" bbc.co.uk, retrieved 15, 2017
- "The 12 Days of Christine". BBC. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- Billington, Michael. " 'Nell Gwynn' review – Gemma Arterton sparkles in chaotic comedy" The Guardian, 12 February 2016
- Shenton, Mark. " 'The Girls', Musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, to Premiere in West End" Playbill, 16 September 2016
- Equalizer Star Dies Archived 1 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine