Hattie Jacques was an English comedy actress of stage, radio and screen. She is best known as a regular of the Carry On films, where she typically played strict, no-nonsense characters. She was married to the actor John Le Mesurier from 1949 until their divorce in 1965, a separation caused by her five-year affair with another man.
About Hattie Jacques in brief
Hattie Jacques was an English comedy actress of stage, radio and screen. She is best known as a regular of the Carry On films, where she typically played strict, no-nonsense characters. Jacques started her career in 1944 with an appearance at the Players’ Theatre in London. She came to national prominence through her appearances on three highly popular radio series on the BBC: with Tommy Handley on It’s That Man Again; with ventriloquist Peter Brough on Educating Archie; and then with Tony Hancock on Hancock’s Half Hour. In private, Jacques led a turbulent life. She was married to the actor John Le Mesurier from 1949 until their divorce in 1965, a separation caused by her five-year affair with another man. She died of a heart attack on 6 October 1980, at the age of 58. Her biographer, Frances Gray, considers Jacques had a \”talent for larger-than-life comedy which never lost its grip on humanity\”, while she could also display \”a broader comic mode\” as a result of her \”extraordinary versatility\”. Jacques was born Josephine Edwina Jaques on 7 February 1922 at 125 Sandgate High Street, Sandgate, Kent. Her father was a serviceman in the British Army and later the Royal Air Force, and her mother was a nurse who served in the Voluntary Aid Detachment. She became a nurse in the VAD during the Second World War and served in a mobile unit in London, attending bombed sites during the Blitz. In 1944, being auditioned by Leonard Sachs, Jacques made her professional theatrical debut as Josephine Jacques.
Almost immediately she became a regular performer, appearing in music hall revues and Victorian-style pantomime revues. She acted, directed, wrote and developed the persona of the fairy queen in Late Joys. For years she was to use in pantomimes for the large, vulnerable, but vulnerable boss, but for the last few years, she was the boss herself. She later claimed that the pair had been engaged and that Major Charles Kearney had been killed in action, although her biographer Andy Merriman discovered that Kearneys had a wife and children in the United States when he proposed to them after the war. After the war she had a brief, uncredited role in Green for Danger, in which she appeared in various roles including the formidable hospital matron. She continued intermittently with amateur theatricals, and in May 1939 appeared with the Curtain Club in Barnes in productions of Fumed Oak and Borgia. In July 1930 she started her secondary schooling at the Godolphin and Latymer School in Hammersmith, and also attended a local dance school, the Dean Sisters Academy. In the summer of 1939 she was a principal dancer in the Academy’s shows. Her brother Robin Rochester Jaques, who attained the rank of flight lieutenant with the RAF, was a keen sportsman and became a semi-professional footballer. He signed to Clapton Orient and Fulham F. C., but his career was cut short when he died in a flying accident on 8 August 1923.
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