On this day in history : 10th November 1998 – The death of English actress and singer Mary Millar – who played Rose in the highly successful BBC TV comedy series Keeping Up Appearances….

Mary Millar as Rose in ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ – Fair use

Mary was born on the 26th of July 1936 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, to music hall singers Horace and Irene Weston…. Her parents had an act, Sweethearts in Harmony and as a child Mary would go on tour with them…. At first she had her heart set on becoming a stable hand – but changed her mind and began singing arias on stage at the age of 14….

In 1953, aged 17, Mary made her first TV appearance in Those Were the Days…. She went on to appear in The Dick Emery Show and The Stanley Baxter Show…. But she is probably best remembered as Rose, the youngest sister of Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances…. Rose, with her eye for the men (especially married ones) and her love of skimpy clothes, who brought shame to her social climbing snobbish elder sister….

The cast of ‘Keeping up Appearances’ – Fair use

In 1962 Mary made her acting stage debut in Lock Up Your Daughters; in the same year she married Rafael D Frame and the couple had a daughter in 1972…. Mary had a busy and constant theatrical career and was in the original cast of Phantom of the Opera…. Her final performance was in 1998 as Mrs Potts in the West End production Beauty and the Beast…. She left the production in February 1998 as her health was deteriorating – she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer the previous month…. Mary lost her battle with her illness in the November of 1998, dying in Brockley, London, with her husband and daughter at her bedside….

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