Guest Actor Biography
Page 57 of 127


Yootha Joyce

Miss Lester, Something Nasty in the Nursery

by Pete Stampede

Yootha Joyce's place in sitcom heaven is as the suburban gorgon Mildred Roper, verbally reminding her weedy husband George of his proper place in Man About the House (Thames, 1973-76), which curiously became successfully Americanised as Three's Company. Truth to tell, as played by Joyce and Brian Murphy, the Ropers were more interesting than their rather insipid trio of tenants, and soon had their own series, George and Mildred (1976-79), in which Mildred's pretensions towards sophistication got more of an airing. Joyce in real life was married at one point to Glynn Edwards, and, like him, was a product of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop. She was a guest in Steptoe and Son several times: "The Bath" (1962), "A Box in Town" (1964) and the pair's second film, Steptoe and Son Ride Again (1973). A more unlikely appearance was as a Soviet agent in The Saint, "The Russian Prisoner" (1966). Following her premature death in 1980, rumours of a serious drink problem were confirmed, which couldn't help but give an unintentional note of tragedy to re-runs of her work.

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