Kathy Staff

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Kathy Staff

Kathy Staff
BornMinnie Higginbottom
(1928-07-12)12 July 1928
Dukinfield, Cheshire, England, UK
Died13 December 2008(2008-12-13) (aged 80)
Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England, UK
Other namesKatherine Brant
OccupationActress
Years active1946–2008
SpouseJohn Staff (m. 1951–2008)
 
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Kathy Staff

Kathy Staff
BornMinnie Higginbottom
(1928-07-12)12 July 1928
Dukinfield, Cheshire, England, UK
Died13 December 2008(2008-12-13) (aged 80)
Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England, UK
Other namesKatherine Brant
OccupationActress
Years active1946–2008
SpouseJohn Staff (m. 1951–2008)

Kathy Staff (12 July 1928 – 13 December 2008), born Minnie Higginbottom, was an English actress, well known for her work on British television. She is most famous for her portrayal of Nora Batty on the longest running sitcom in the world, Last of the Summer Wine.

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Last of the Summer Wine

Born in Dukinfield, Cheshire, Staff was best known for her role as one of the main characters, Nora Batty, in the long-running BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. She played Nora from the pilot episode in 1973,[1] until 2008, the year she died.

Early life and career

She began her acting career with touring repertory companies in 1946, changing her name to Katherine Brant. After she married John Staff in 1951,[1] she adopted the surname as her stage name, hence Kathy Staff. She retired from the stage at this point to raise her family, but starting working as an extra for Granada Television in Manchester in the 1960s.

Television

Staff had a regular role as Doris Luke in the popular ITV soap opera, Crossroads from 1978 to 1985 and 2001 to 2002. Her other television roles included Coronation Street as Vera Hopkins,[1] No Frills as Molly Bickerstaff, Open All Hours as Mrs Blewitt, Dawson's Weekly and The Benny Hill Show. She appeared in a television version of Separate Tables in 1983.

Theatre

Her theatre roles included Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest at Birmingham Rep, Madame Arcati and Mrs Malaprop in touring productions of Blithe Spirit and The Rivals respectively and a touring production of the comedy Sailor Beware, as well as two West End plays: the farce Two into One and comedy When We Are Married, and many pantomimes.[2]

Films

She appeared in A Kind of Loving in 1962 as Thora Hird's neighbour, as well as The Dresser in 1983, Camille in 1984, Little Dorrit in 1988 and Mary Reilly in 1996.

Illness and death

She died on 13 December 2008 at the Willow Wood Hospice in Ashton-under-Lyne, at the age of 80, with her husband John at her bedside, after a brain tumour was diagnosed earlier in the year.[3][4] Her death was announced on 14 December.[5] Her funeral took place at St Mark's Dukinfield, where she was a lifelong member and sang in the choir. She is commemorated in a memorial screen at the church. [6]

Television roles

YearTitleRole
1969Castle HavenLorna Everitt
1970–1972Queenie's CastleMrs Blakely
1973–2001
2002–2008
Last of the Summer WineNora Batty
1974–1975Coronation StreetVera Hopkins
1976–1981Open All HoursMrs Blewett
1978–1985
2001–2002
CrossroadsDoris Luke
1988No FrillsMolly Bickerstaff

References

  1. ^ a b c "Nora: Kathy Staff". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 2000-01-01. http://www.examiner.co.uk/travel-news/last-of-summer-wine/2000/01/01/nora-kathy-staff-86081-67682. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  2. ^ "Kathy Staff, Wrinkles and All - My Life Story, 1997
  3. ^ Dowling, Nicola (2008-12-14). "Summer Wine's Nora Batty dies". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media). http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1085305_summer_wines_nora_batty_dies. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  4. ^ "Kathy Staff". Telegraph.co.uk (Telegraph Media Group). 2008-12-14. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/3759421/Kathy-Staff.html. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  5. ^ "Summer Wine star Staff dies at 80". BBC News. 2008-12-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7782250.stm. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  6. ^ Chester Diocesan News, February 2011

Further reading

External links