Gwen Taylor

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Gwen Taylor
Born(1939-02-19) 19 February 1939 (age 75)
Derby, England[1]
Years active1972–Present
Spouse(s)Graham Reid
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Gwen Taylor
Born(1939-02-19) 19 February 1939 (age 75)
Derby, England[1]
Years active1972–Present
Spouse(s)Graham Reid

Gwen Taylor (born 19 February 1939[1]) is an English actress who has appeared in many British television programmes, including Z-Cars, Murder Most Horrid, Yes, Prime Minister, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders,[2] Coronation Street and Belonging. However, she is most famous for her roles in three sitcoms: as Amy Pearce in Duty Free (1984–86), Barbara Liversidge in Barbara (1995–2003).[2] and Rita Simcock in A Bit of a Do.


Taylor was born in Derby. 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), and 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 The Rutles. On The Rutles 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".

In 1990 she was nominated for a Bafta TV award in the best actress category for her role in A Bit of a Do opposite David Jason.

Between 2005 and 2009 she played the role of the dishonest Peggy Armstrong in the drama Heartbeat.[2]

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.

Gwen Taylor is married to the playwright Graham Reid. They live in London.[3]

Television roles[edit]


1980Sounding BrassCynthia Wildgoose
1981Only When I Laugh'Victoria Plumtree
1984 to 1986Duty FreeAmy Pearce
1989A Bit of a DoRita Simcock
1989Sob SistersLiz
1991The Sharp EndCelia Forrest
1993Conjugal RitesGen Masefield
1997A Perfect StateLaura Fitzgerald
1997Pilgrim's RestTilly
1999 to 2003
BarbaraBarbara Liversidge


1984Coming to Terms with BillyMavis Martin
2005–10HeartbeatPeggy Armstrong
2011–12Coronation StreetAnne FosterRecurring role

Selected filmography[edit]

1979Monty Python's Life of BrianMrs. Big-Nose
Woman with Sick Donkey
Young Girl
1980Richard's ThingsMargaret


  1. ^ a b c "Actress Gwen shows naked ambition at 72 as she lands a role in Corrie" Derby Telegraph (21 July 2011). Accessed 27 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Gwen Taylor at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ [1]

External links[edit]