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Una Stubbs (born 1 May 1937) is an English actress and former dancer who has appeared extensively on British television and in the theatre, and less frequently in films. She is particularly known for playing Rita in the sitcom Till Death Us Do Part and Aunt Sally in the children's series Worzel Gummidge. She is also known for her role as Miss Bat in the series The Worst Witchand has most recently appeared as Sherlock Holmes's landlady Mrs Hudson in the Bafta award-winning television series Sherlock.


Film and televisionEdit

Una Stubbs was born at HinckleyLeicestershire. She first appeared on television as one of the Dougie Squires Dancers on the British television music show Cool for Cats in 1956. She also worked in cabaretclubs and revues in London during these years and was one of Lionel Blair's dance ensemble.

Her first major screen role was in Cliff Richard's 1963 film, Summer Holiday. She also appeared in Richard's next film, Wonderful Life (1964). A few years later, she made her breakthrough in television comedy, playing Rita, the married daughter of Alf Garnett in the controversial BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part (1966–75). She also appeared in the short-lived sitcom Till Death... (1981), again playing Rita. She played Rita a third time in a few episodes of the BBC sitcom In Sickness and in Health (1985–92). During 1970-72, Stubbs teamed again with Cliff Richard to appear each week on his BBC1 TV Series, It's Cliff Richard!. When she was absent from the show due to her pregnancy, her TV 'mother', Dandy Nichols from Till Death..., appeared in her place on several editions.

Stubbs featured in the Fawlty Towers episode "The Anniversary" in 1979. From 1979 to 1981, she played Aunt Sally in the ITV children's series Worzel Gummidge opposite Jon Pertwee and Barbara Windsor and was for several years a team captain in the weekly game show Give Us a Clue in the 1980s, reuniting her with Lionel Blair, the other team captain.

She has appeared in shows such as Midsomer MurdersHeartbeatCasualtyKeeping Up AppearancesBorn and Bred and The Worst Witch. In recent years, Stubbs has also appeared in Victoria Wood's We'd Quite Like to Apologise,The Catherine Tate ShowAgatha Christie's MarpleEastEndersBenidorm and Sherlock as Mrs. Hudson.

Stubbs appeared on the West End stage in Noël Coward's Star Quality with Penelope Keith in 2001 and Friedrich Schiller's Don Carlos with Derek Jacobi in 2005. In recent years she has appeared in La Cage Aux Folles at the Menier Chocolate FactoryPygmalion at the Theatre Royal, Bath and Old Vic and The Family Reunion by T.S. Eliot at the Donmar Warehouse.

Indie rock band Half Man Half Biscuit refer to Una in their song "God Gave Us Life", from the album Back in the DHSS.

[edit]Personal lifeEdit

Stubbs was married to the actor Peter Gilmore from 1958 to 1969: they adopted a son, Jason. After their divorce in 1969, she married actor Nicky Henson. They divorced in 1975 but remain good friends. She and Henson had two children: composer Christian Henson (born 25 December 1971), and musician-composer Joe Henson (born 18 September 1973).

For many years, Stubbs has sketched vignettes of characters around London, and has held exhibitions of these near her Mayfair home.

Stubbs knew her Sherlock costar Benedict Cumberbatch since he was four years old as she had worked with his mother Wanda Ventham.

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