Open All Hours actress Lynda Baron dies aged 82

The sitcom star was best known for her role as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel.

07 March 2022

Actress Lynda Baron, best known for the BBC sitcom Open All Hours, has died at the age of 82, her agent has announced.

Baron starred opposite Sir David Jason and Ronnie Barker as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in the hit BBC sitcom, which ran for four series starting in 1976.

She also appeared in the sequel Still Open All Hours when it returned in 2013, and played Auntie Mabel in the 1990s BBC children’s programme Come Outside which saw her and her dog Pippin take adventures in a small multi-coloured polka dot plane.

Open All Hours
Ronnie Barker, Lynda Baron and David Jason (PA)

A statement to the PA news agency from her agent of nearly 30 years, Donna French, said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved client Lynda Baron.

“She was a wonderful actress and a great friend.

“Her iconic roles of Nurse Gladys in Open All Hours and Aunt Mabel in Come Outside were loved by all generations.

“Renowned for her leading roles in West End musicals and dramatic productions alike, we have lost a leading light of our world.

“We extend our deepest condolences to her daughter Sarah, her son Morgan and all her family.”

Lynda Baron (Cathal McNaughton/PA)

Baron also appeared in the ITV sitcom Oh No, It’s Selwyn Froggitt, BBC soap EastEnders as Linda Clarke, the mother of Jane Beale, and made appearances in Doctor Who, Last Of The Summer Wine and Dinner Ladies.

She was nominated for a Bafta in 2011 for her role in The Road To Coronation Street on BBC Four, a one-off drama about the early days of the soap, in which she played actress Violet Carson, who portrayed Ena Sharples in the long-running series.

Her film credits also included 2020’s sports movie Dream Horse which starred Damian Lewis and Joanna Page, Woody Allen’s 2006 romantic crime Scoop and 2005’s Colour Me Kubrick.

Baron also featured in the musical Follies in the West End and in the stage version of In Celebration alongside Orlando Bloom.

She appeared in numerous other theatre productions including An Inspector Calls, Stepping Out and The Full Monty.

Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley paid tribute, recalling fond memories she had of Baron, who played her mother in the drama series Fat Friends.

She shared two photos of them together and wrote: “GOD BLESS YOU LYNDA REST IN PEACE. You played my mum for four wonderful, memorable years in “Fat Friends”.

“Each & everyday I learnt so much from you, but mostly we ALWAYS laughed together, your energy will live on FOREVER #restinpeace #legend love ya xxx”

While actress Sally Lindsay, who starred alongside Baron in Still Open All Hours, wrote: “I loved Lynda Baron. She was funny and clever and a joy to work with, and she once gifted me a pair of beautiful red shoes.

“This has made me very sad. RIP Lynda darling x”.

EastEnders also paid their respects by sharing a tribute to Baron alongside a photo of her in her role as Linda Clarke to their official Twitter account.

They wrote: “We’re deeply saddened to hear that Lynda Baron has passed away. Our love and thoughts are with Lynda’s family and friends.”

Actor Stuart Antony also shared a photo alongside the actress and added: “Saddened to hear wonderful friend Lynda Baron has sadly passed away.

“She was the nicest person and what a legend. Here we are with Su Pollard just before lockdown – RIP Lynda Baron”

Gold TV channel, which regularly airs reruns of Open All Hours, tweeted: “We’re all deeply saddened by the passing of Lynda Baron who was well-loved as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in both Open All Hours and Still Open All Hours. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

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