Entertainment

Actress and singer Anne Hart, widow of comedian Ronnie Corbett, dies aged 90

Anne Hart and Ronnie Corbett (Philip Toscano/PA)
Anne Hart and Ronnie Corbett (Philip Toscano/PA) Anne Hart and Ronnie Corbett (Philip Toscano/PA)

Former West End musical star Anne Hart, the widow of comedian Ronnie Corbett, has died at the age of 90, her family has announced.

Hart, who was married to Corbett for 50 years, died “peacefully, surrounded by her family” in the early hours of Sunday November 5 at the family home in Scotland.

Her younger daughter, actress Sophie Corbett, said: “We lost my darling Mum at one o’clock in the morning. She was an amazing woman, and my sister Emma and I, and all four of her grandchildren, Tom, Tilly, Dylan and Billy, will love and miss her for ever.

“We will be bringing her home to Abingdon, near Croydon, which is where the family lived when my Dad was alive.”

Thanksgiving Service for Ronnie Corbett
Thanksgiving Service for Ronnie Corbett Anne Hart with Ronnie Corbett’s Commander of the Order of the British Empire medal (Yui Mok/PA)

Actress and singer Hart was recently treated for a hip fracture in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh following a fall at the family estate Muirfield Wood in East Lothian.

Born on April 26 1933 at St Thomas’ hospital in Lambeth, Hart was the third of six children.

Hart made her West End debut as a child in the Christmas show Where The Rainbow Ends, and also performed in child roles in operas at Covent Garden.

She found fame on stage in her 20s as the leading lady in Clown Jewels and Young In Heart with comedy troupe The Crazy Gang.

It was during the late 1950s, while working in the late-night revues at Danny La Rue’s club at Hanover Square, that she met her future husband, the then up-and-coming comedian Ronnie Corbett.

Old Vic celebrates 192 years of theatre
Old Vic celebrates 192 years of theatre Ronnie Corbett and Anne Hart (Ian Nicholson/PA)

Comedian Corbett died aged 85 in 2016, having been diagnosed with a suspected form of motor neurone disease.

Born Ronald Balfour Corbett in Edinburgh, he and Ronnie Barker rose to fame in the popular BBC comedy sketch show The Two Ronnies.

The show, which pulled in up to 22 million viewers and was famous for its four candles sketch, ran for 16 years on the BBC.

Hart, who was previously married to John Padley, a singer in The Four Jones Boys group, married Corbett at Brixton registry office and that night played a show at Danny La Rue’s club in Hanover Square.

Their first child, Andrew, was born with a heart defect and he lived only six weeks.

The couple went on to have two daughters and four grandchildren.