'Marvellously funny' Mollie Sugden dies aged 86

Thursday July 2, 2009

Yorkshire-born comedy actress Mollie Sugden has passed away at Guildford's Royal Surrey Hospital after a long illness.

Best known for her 13-year-long role as Betty Slocombe on Brit sitcom Are You Being Served?, the TV star died on Wednesday with her twin sons, Robin and Simon, by her bedside.

Mollie was the widow of fellow actor William Moore who died nine years ago. It was after his death that the 86-year-old's health began to fail.

"They were very much in love. She started to go down when he died." the star's agent says.

As well as her role on the long-running comedy, Mollie made a name for herself starring as gossipy Nellie Harvey in Coronation Street and then went on to become snobby Mrs Hutchinson in The Liver Birds.

Tributes have been pouring in from those who worked alongside her.

"(Mollie) was marvellously funny," Are You Being Served? writer David Croft says. "She would never refuse any sort of comedy situation. No matter how undignified it was, she would always go along with it."

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