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Patricia Amy "Patsy" Rowlands (19 January 1931 – 22 January 2005) 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!.
Patricia Amy Rowlands
19 January 1931
|Died||22 January 2005 (aged 74)|
|Television||Bless This House|
(m. 1962; div. 1967)
She was born in Palmers Green, London and attended the Sacred Heart convent school at Whetstone. 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.
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. 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. 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. Her final appearance was as Mrs Pearce in the National Theatre's production of My Fair Lady which also starred Jonathan Pryce.
Rowlands also appeared in film and TV versions of two of Frances Hodgson Burnett's books: "Little Lord Fauntleroy" and "A Little Princess." 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. 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.
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". 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 filmsEdit
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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).
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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)|
|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|
|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 waitress|
|1980||The Nesbitts Are Coming||WPC Naylor|
|1982-1986||In Loving Memory||Tiger-Lilly Longstaff|
|1997||Get Well Soon||Mrs Clapton|
|1975||The Basil Brush Show||Guest|
|1961||Danger Man||Mrs. Harkness|
|1964||Danger Man||Mrs. Farebrother|
|1965||Out Of The Unknown - Come Buttercup, Come Daisy, Come...?||Anne Lovejoy|
|2001||The Cazalets||The Governess|
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- "You've Really Landed Me in It This Time (1971)". Bfi.org.uk.
- "Patsy Rowlands: Her Carry On Story". Carryonfan.blogspot.co.uk.
- "Miracle of the Pueblo". IMDb.com. 8 December 1991.
- "New World Zorro Production Notes". Newworldzorro.com.
- "Patsy Rowlands". Scotsman.com.
- "Robert Ross DVD". Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.