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Royle Family and Dibley actress Liz Smith dies aged 95

Actress Liz Smith, who played Nana in The Royle Family and Mrs Cropley in the Vicar of Dibley, has died aged 95.

A family spokeswoman announced that the Bafta winning actress had died on Christmas Eve.

Born Betty Gleadle in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, in 1921, she later gave herself the stage name of Smith.

She also had roles in 2point4 Children and Lark Rise to Candleford, and was the voice of Mrs Mulch in Wallace and Gromit’s The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

She was appointed MBE in 2009 and the Bafta for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Maggie Smith’s mother in the 1984 film A Private Function.

She announced her retirement from acting in 2009, following a series of strokes.

Liz SmithImage copyrightPA
Image captionLiz Smith was appointed MBE in 2009

The death comes less than six months after her co-star and co-writer of The Royle Family, Caroline Aherne, died aged 52.

Ralf Little, who played Antony Royle in the sitcom, tweeted: “Devastating to lose two members of my second family in one awful year. RIP Liz Smith. Goodbye Nana. Xxx”

Andrew Whyment, who starred in both Coronation Street and The Royle Family, tweeted: “What a fantastic actress she was absolutely hilarious RIP lovely Liz x”

Richard E Grant, who acted alongside her in the 1997 film Keep the Aspidistra Flying, tweeted: “Liz Smith-I loved working with you on the George Orwell film and privileged to have played and danced together R.I.P. X”

And choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne joined with the tributes, tweeting: “RIP #LizSmith Lovable actress who was totally unique and endearing. A true British legend.”

 

Source: BBC