Wednesday 8 January 2014

Pauline Yates

Pauline Yates in 'The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin'

Pauline Yates: 

June 16, 1929 - January 21, 2015

Perhaps the ultimate sitcom housewife, an unobtrusive foil to comic turns from the late great Leonard Rossiter in 'The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin' and, to a lesser extent, Robert Gillespie in 'Keep it in the Family'. Pauline Yates became something of a middle aged pin-up during the '70s (unbelievably, she was born in 1929) for her combination of sweet wifely loyalty and brisk, unflappable sexiness.   

In 'The Strange Report'

Earlier TV includes 'Emergency Ward 10' and 'My Honourable Mrs' – an unlamented sitcom with Derek Nimmo as a man whose wife enters Parliament. Ha ha, imagine that. She also had the lead role in 'Harriet's Back in Town', a daytime soap made by Thames TV back in the early '70s.  She was in some old favourites of the time, like 'Bootsie and Snudge', 'The Strange Report', 'The Human Jungle', 'Maigret', and some comedy like 'Hark at Barker' and 'Hancock' ('The Eye-Witness').

About to get the heave-ho from Dirk Bogarde in favour of
Julie Christie in 'Darling' (1965)
In the '80s and '90s she was seen in 'Rumpole' and the usual second-string dramas of 'Casualty', 'Kavanagh QC' and 'Doctors' as well as the strangely redundant post-Leonard Rossiter series 'The Legacy of Reginald Perrin' in 1996, in which the original cast members seem to wander aimlessly around in search of their lost star.  

'Harriet's Back in Town' with William Russell
There were a few film roles,  but the only notable production was 'Darling' (1965). Pauline Yates's finest professional moments have almost all been on the small screen and almost all in 'Reggie Perrin', but it's a measure of that programme's lasting appeal that she is such a well-loved actress. In real life, her husband was the respected actor Donald Churchill, who died in 1991, and their daughter Jemma Churchill is also an actress. 

Update Jan 2015: Sad to hear that Pauline Yates died earlier this week.  

Pauline Yates-imdb


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  2. I only discovered "The Strange Report" rather late in life. I love that version of the late sixties it, and it's ilk portrays, that almost certainly never existed outside of a sound stage. Wonderful theme music too.
    Did you know "The Man Who Haunted Himself" recently came out on blu ray? (I'm sure you must love this film)
    In my opinion Roger Moores best role, his 'minimalistic' acting style actually for once, an advantage. Plus it catches the tale end of that groovy but slightly sinister sixties vibe , I alluded to (albeit a 70s film).
    Be seeing you!