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Mollie Sugden

Mollie Sugden
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Mollie Sugden Biography

Mary Isobel 'Mollie' Sugden (21 July 1922 – 1 July 2009) was an English comedy actress best known for portraying the saleswoman Mrs. Slocombe in the popular British sitcom Are You Being Served? from 1972 to 1985. She later reprised this role in Grace & Favour, which ran from 1992 to 1993. Sugden also appeared in The Liver Birds and Coronation Street.

Mary Isobel Sugden was born in Keighley in Yorkshire in 1922. When she was four years old, she heard a woman reading a poem at a village concert making people laugh. The following Christmas, after being asked if she could "do anything", Sugden read this poem and everyone fell about laughing. She later remarked that their response made her "realise how wonderful it was to make people laugh". Shortly after she left school, the Second World War broke out, and Sugden worked in a munitions factory in Keighley making shells for the Royal Navy. However, she was later made redundant so she attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

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Mollie Sugden Trivia

  • Mollie Sugden attended the Guildhall school of music and drama in London.
  • Children: Robin and Simon (twins).
  • Has five grandchildren.
  • After the first episode of of "Are You Being Served?" (1972), she decided her hair was too plain for Mrs. Slocombe - so she bleached it white and dyed it a different colour for each subsequent episode in the first season. But the ends of bleached hair become spongy, so that the dyes never entirely washed out and, she says, her twin boys didn't appreciate being picked up from school "by a mother with multi-coloured ends." So, after the first season, when she saw the show was a hit, she asked the BBC to supply her with wigs instead of dying her hair a different colour every week.
  • Grandchildren James and Emily.
  • She is still great friends with the surviving cast members of "Are You Being Served?" (1972).
  • Appeared on season three of Little Britain as herself. The character of Liz (David Walliams) is always bragging how she was the bridesmaid for Molly Sugden's wedding, to anyone and everyone, while her poor husband Clive (Matt Lucas) tries to hush her. In one episode, Liz starts again bragging about being Molly's bridesmaid. When Molly turns around (we first see only her back) she says to Liz that she only had one bridesmaid and the girl was called Helen not Liz. Liz ends the skit with throwing a knife into Molly's back. The character of Liz was inspired by a friend of David Walliams who went to a wedding where he met an older woman who was claiming to have been Molly's bridesmaid.
  • Was compared with Lucille Ball by John Inman, who stated that both Ball and Sugden were one of the very few actresses who were never afraid to do or accept anything for a laugh (such as having a pie thrown in the face or acting downright silly).


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