Britain's favourite grandmother, Liz Smith (1921-2016)
December 26, 2016 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Actress Liz Smith, who played "Nana" in the Royle Family (and Mrs Cropley in the Vicar of Dibley) has died aged 95. Smith appeared in the sitcom as Norma ‘Nana’ Jean. She also had roles in 2point4 Children, Lark Rise to Candleford, Bottom, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Lovejoy, films such as A Private Function and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and was the voice of Mrs Mulch in Wallace and Gromit's The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. She was awarded an MBE in 2009; Ralf Little and Richard E Grant pay tribute. posted by Wordshore (22 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Could she have some wafer thin ham, Barbara?
posted by popcassady at 4:14 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

Seriously, both Liz Smith and Caroline Aherne, in the same year (shakes head)
posted by Wordshore at 4:15 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

posted by drezdn at 4:17 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, actually Britain's second favourite Grandmother, since Queen Elizabeth has 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. She missed a Christmas Day public appearance due to a "bad cold", raising a lot of "OH NOES", but her recorded Christmas message reportedly didn't sound very unhealthy. Still, the 2016 Curse is still strong and maybe it hit the matriarch of the Royle Family because it can't spell.

posted by oneswellfoop at 4:52 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

94's not a bad innings but still very sad to see her go. Nation's favourite grandmother indeed! Did I first see her in The Life And Loves Of A She-Devil or does my brain deceive me?
posted by comealongpole at 5:34 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ah, Mrs. Cropley, you and your orange cake with Branston Pickle icing will be missed.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 5:36 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]

Goodness, I had seen her in a lot of things, even for an American.

posted by droplet at 5:44 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ham and lemon curd is damn tasty.

posted by monopas at 7:37 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I loved her playing Mrs. Dilber in both the George C. Scott and the Patrick Stewart versions of A Christmas Carol.
posted by worldswalker at 8:16 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's the deal about 2016 - it's not "Celebrity dies peacefully after a long and happy life" with a bunch of dots in the thread that follows.

It's "essential and influential artist/academic, still creating stuff very much worthwhile to the human experince, is cut down way before their time."

I have no hope 2017 will grant us a reprieve.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:17 PM on December 26, 2016

95 is a hell of a run, but I adore her work, and am saddened by her passing.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:17 PM on December 26, 2016

She outlived Mrs. Cropley by 20 years so that's something.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:12 AM on December 27, 2016

The Queen of Sheba was on TV just the other day. It's so fantastically written and acted. It's the most realistic working class portrayal of an elderly parents end of life care I've ever seen.

posted by threetwentytwo at 2:43 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by custardfairy at 6:53 AM on December 27, 2016


My partner and I still quote her as "Woman Returning Suits" from this A Bit of Fry and Laurie sketch.
posted by Earthtopus at 8:39 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Richard Adams now?! For God's sake, remaining British actors, artists and authors: turn on the central heating and keep warm.
posted by Wordshore at 9:05 AM on December 27, 2016

Everybody will say this I'm sure, but she was exactly like my Nanna.
(The vegetarian bit in The Royle Family, my nanna did exactly the same thing)
posted by Webbster at 9:07 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by Rabarberofficer at 9:28 AM on December 27, 2016

One of those character actors I knew by sight but could never remember the name of. I saw her on stage in 1985, her presence even now more memorable than the play itself. Which says nothing but good about her
posted by BWA at 9:54 AM on December 27, 2016

posted by Diagonalize at 11:32 AM on December 27, 2016

posted by ellieBOA at 11:45 PM on December 27, 2016


She was excellent, as ever, as Mrs Brandon in I Didn't Know You Cared (1975-1979).
posted by On the Corner at 3:26 AM on December 28, 2016

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