Michele Dotrice

Last updated

Michele Dotrice
Born (1948-09-27) 27 September 1948 (age 71)
Years active1960–present
Spouse(s) Edward Woodward
(1987–2009; his death)
Parent(s) Roy Dotrice
Kay Newman
Relatives Karen and Yvette Dotrice (sisters)

Michele Dotrice (born 27 September 1948) is an English actress, best known for her portrayal of Betty Spencer, the long-suffering wife of Frank Spencer, played by Michael Crawford, in the BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em , which ran from 1973 to 1978, and returned in 2016 for a special.



Her first significant role was in the 1962 13-part BBC TV adaptation of The Old Curiosity Shop in which she played Nell, [1] and she appeared in The Witches for Hammer Films in 1966. In 1970 she had starring roles in the horror thrillers And Soon the Darkness (1970) [2] and The Blood on Satan's Claw (1970). [3] Her other film appearances include Jane Eyre (1970) with George C. Scott [4] and the 1976 comedy Not Now, Comrade . [5]

It was her appearance in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em that made her a household name, and she played the role for five years from 1973. [6] [7] [8] In February 2016 the BBC announced that she would be reprising the role in a one-off special, to be broadcast as part of the Sport Relief charity fundraiser event. [9]

She played Felicity in Season 1 Episode 3 "Buried in the cold cold ground" of the Jason King TV series, which aired on the 6th of October 1971. She played Lady Percy in the BBC's Henry IV parts 1 and 2 in 1979.

In 1981 she took the leading role in the short-lived sitcom Chintz, which aired on ITV. [10] In 1987, Dotrice played the role of a new mother who's child was snatched in an episode of The Equalizer along with her husband Edward Woodward. In the mid-1990s she appeared for several episodes in the period drama Bramwell . She appeared in the film Captain Jack (1999) with Bob Hoskins. She has made numerous guest appearances in well-known British television series, including Midsomer Murders (1 episode, 1998), Holby City (1 episode, 2002), Murder in Suburbia (as Cindy in Episode 6, Season 2, 2005), and the BBC daytime soap opera Doctors (1 episode, 2008). In addition, she made several appearances in a 2004 Nottingham-set BBC comedy-drama entitled 'A Thing Called Love', which starred Paul Nicholls and Roy Barraclough among others.

In 2012 she toured in an adapted version of The Ladykillers , playing the role of Mrs Wilberforce. [11] In 2014, she played Pam Chandler, a suspected murderer, in the last episode of series three of Death in Paradise . [12] In 2015, she played Marion, mother to Christine in the Inside No. 9 episode The 12 Days of Christine . [13] In 2016, she played Nancy, the faithful dresser and woman of all work to the main character, in the West End production of Nell Gwynn. [14] In 2017 she played Jessie in the stage musical The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End. [15]

In 2018 she returned to television playing Edna Friendship in A Very English Scandal .

ITV launched their new drama in 2020 McDonald & Dodds in which she played Mary Costair in the second episode of Series 1.

Personal life

Her father was the actor Roy Dotrice (d. 2017); her mother Kay Dotrice (d. 2007) was an actress. She has two sisters, Karen Dotrice and Yvette Dotrice, who also followed their parents into acting.

Dotrice was married to actor Edward Woodward from January 1987 until his death in November 2009. [16] They have a daughter named Emily Beth.

Partial filmography

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