Entertainment

Una Stubbs graced stage and screen in long and varied career

The Sherlock star has died aged 84.

Una Stubbs enjoyed a diverse career in acting spanning several decades.

The actress, who has died aged 84, was known for her high-profile roles in television, film and theatre across multiple genres.

Stubbs was born in 1937 in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and made her television debut in 1956 as a dancer on the music programme Cool For Cats.

Una Stubbs death
Una Stubbs, pictured at the National Television Awards in 2013 (Ian West/PA)

However it was the hit 1963 film Summer Holiday which helped make her name, as she starred in the musical alongside Sir Cliff Richard.

Throughout the rest of the 1960s, Stubbs cemented her place as a regular on television, starring in the BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part as Rita Rawlings and later in its sequel In Sickness And In Health.

She also had brief roles in comedy series Benidorm and Fawlty Towers.

She featured in a string of EastEnders episodes in 2006, playing Caroline Bishop.

Stubbs continued to work into later life and in 2010 she took on one of the biggest roles of her career, playing Mrs Hudson in Sherlock until 2017.

In 2015 she said that when playing the part she treated her co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who played Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson respectively, the way she treated her own sons.

In an interview with TV Times, she added that she liked “the variation of the role… not being jolly and just being really sad was a nice change”.

In addition to her work as an actress, Stubbs was also a keen amateur painter.

Keith Waterhouse memorial
Una Stubbs, pictured in 2010 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In 2014 she featured in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition with watercolour portraits of Cumberbatch and Freeman.

Another of her portraits featured in the 2020 edition of the annual exhibition.

Stubbs was married to the actor Peter Gilmore from 1958 to 1969 and the pair shared an adopted son named Jason.

She then married another actor, Nicky Henson, later that year.

The couple had two sons together, named Joe and Christian, before divorcing in 1974.

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