Best Film Carry On Girls Best Character Linda Upmore in Carry On Behind Silliest name Miss Fosdick in Carry On Again Doctor Films 10 - Again Doctor, Loving, Henry, At Your Convenience, Abroad, Matron, Girls, Dick, Behind, That's Best Line
With her dumpy figure, woebegone face and tearfully-expressive eyes, Patsy Rowlands has carved a niche for herself in 10 Carry Ons as the hard-done-by wife or the put-upon employee. She is no mere ugly duckling because there is always a twist that will motivate her to turn into a swan. In Loving she plays a forlorn housekeeper, Miss Dempsey, suppressing her passion for her employer, Kenneth Williams, until competition in the shape of Hattie Jacques forces her to reveal her hidden assets. Although she had a hard time testing the loos at WC Boggs in At Your Convenience, under pressure she is transforming and finally captures her initially unwilling boss, (Williams again).
In Henry she plays her smallest role being the unfortunate Queen who has her head chopped off in the beginning to make room in the bedroom for Marie of Normandy (Joan Sims). She comes into her own in Behind as the long suffering wife of Bernie Bresslaw having to share a caravan with him and her overbearing mother, Joan Sims, and a foul-mouthed minah bird.
Her most outstanding role in the Carry On films was her portrayal of Mildred Bumble in Girls, the slovenly wife of the mayor, Kenneth Connor, who is reduced to total apathy by her boring incompetent self-important husband. She slouches around the house in her dressing gown and disgraces him at public functions. But finally in a mood of glorious rebellion she sheds her downtrodden image, burns her bra and joins the Women's Libbers.
Born on the 19th January 1931, she attended a succession of Convent Schools without any sense of direction until a new elocution teacher recognised her potential, and encouraged her to apply for a Guildhall School of Speech and Drama scholarship. She won it when she was just 15 coming top in the whole of England. She spent several years at the Players Theatre in London and was very much part of the new wave which brought a fresh and exciting mood to the stage and screen in the late '50's and early '60's. She appeared in plays like One Way Pendulum and Semi-detached, directed by Tony Richardson and starring Laurence Olivier. It was in Richardson's Tom Jones that she made her film debut.
A wide range of comedy and straight roles have made her a familiar figure to TV viewers especially her portrayal of Betty, the feckless neighbour in the popular sitcom Bless This House, which starred fellow Carry Oner Sid James. In recent years she has kept herself busy in guest roles in Bottom and playing Mrs Potts in the London stage version of Beauty and the Beast.
She had to abandon her plans to become an acting teacher, and quietly retire due to illness. She died of breast cancer in an hospice on January 22, 2005, aged 74 in Hove, England.
Chronologically (except Carry Ons)
Externally linked to IMDB
The Princess and the Pea
Vanity Fair (TV)
Get Well Soon (TV)
Femme Fatale (TV)
Imaginary Friends (TV)
Little Princess, A (TV)
Little Lord Fauntleroy
Sammy's Super T-Shirt
Squirrels, The (TV)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Bless This House
Bless This House (TV)
Stitch in Time, A
Toter sucht seinen Mörder, Ein
Kind of Loving, A
In the Doghouse
Over the Odds