Nan Braunton

Last updated

Nan Braunton as Cissy Godfrey in Dad's Army Braunton Cissy Godfrey.jpg
Nan Braunton as Cissy Godfrey in Dad's Army

Minnie Malinda "Nan" Braunton (4 April 1895 – 27 March 1978) was a British actress who had a prolific stage career during the 1930s and 1940s but who is best known today for playing Cissy Godfrey in the BBC comedy Dad's Army . [1]


Braunton was born in Cardiff in 1895, the daughter of Sarah and James Braunton, a carriage builder. In her youth she was the nanny to Jack, Barry and Roger Livesey who called her 'Nan' and who as adults persuaded her to try acting. [2]

Stage work

By 1922 she was playing Lady Lerode in the stage play John Glayde's Honour at the Grand Theatre in Derby, [3] and also appeared in Dracula at the Theatre Royal, Lincoln (1926). [4] In 1929 she toured the United States in a theatrical company as an actress. [5] She was Mrs Smith in Suspect, played the 101-year-old Adelaide Whiteoak in Whiteoaks at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham (1939), [6] appeared in No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1943), firstly in the West End and then on tour, [7] played Jessica in Michael and Roland Pertwee's The Paragon at the Fortune Theatre (1948) and appeared in The Boy David with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (1953). [8]

Film and television

Braunton made her film début in 1953 in Will Any Gentleman...? . She also appeared as Miss Jones in the film It's a Great Day (1955), [2] which was a spin-off from the popular TV soap opera The Grove Family (1955–57) and in which she played the same role.

Her other television appearances included Miss Dobson in Quatermass and the Pit (1958), Fräulein Rottenmeier in Heidi (1959), in the 'Figure of Fun' episode of the BBC's Sunday Night Theatre (1959), Second Lady in Hotel Imperial (1960), Miss Sedgebeer in Yorky (1960), Miss Osborne in Harpers West One (1962), Mrs. Mortimer in Emergency – Ward 10 (1962), Second Matron in Armchair Theatre (1963), Mrs. Prebble in The Wednesday Thriller (1965), Bridge player in The Wednesday Play (1968), Mrs. Parteridge and Florence Gill in Detective (1964 and 1968), Mrs. Love Sr. in Comedy Playhouse (1969), Miss Blake in Strange Report (1969), Cissy Godfrey in Dad's Army (1969-1971), various roles in Dixon of Dock Green (1955–69), and Old Lady in Six Dates with Barker (1971). [2]

She married Robert Bevens in 1947 in London. [9] Nan Braunton died in 1978 in Denville Hall, the retirement home for actors in London.

Related Research Articles

Martita Hunt British actress (1900–1969)

Martita Edith Hunt was an Argentine-born British theatre and film actress. She had a dominant stage presence and played a wide range of powerful characters. She is best remembered for her performance as Miss Havisham in David Lean's Great Expectations.

Dora Bryan English actress

Dora May Broadbent,, known as Dora Bryan, was a British actress of stage, film and television.

Jean Cadell

Jean Dunlop Cadell was a Scottish character actress. Although her married name was Jean Dunlop Perceval-Clark she retained her maiden name in the context of acting.

"The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage" is an episode in the British comedy series Dad's Army. It was originally transmitted on Saturday 8 March 1969.

"Branded" is the eleventh episode of the third series of the British comedy series Dad's Army. It was originally transmitted on Thursday 20 November 1969.

Linden Travers British actress (1913-2001)

Florence Lindon-Travers, known professionally as Linden Travers, was a British actress.

Mona Washbourne English stage, film and television actress

Mona Lee Washbourne was an English actress of stage, film, and television. Her most critically acclaimed role was in the film Stevie (1978), late in her career, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award.

"War Dance" is the ninth episode of the third series of the British comedy series Dad's Army. It was originally transmitted on Thursday 6 November 1969.

Gwen Watford

Gwen Watford was an English actress. She twice won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress and the 1981 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for Noël Coward's play Present Laughter. Her film appearances included Cleopatra (1963), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969) and Cry Freedom (1987). She was married to actor Richard Bebb from 1952 until her death in 1994.

Nydia Westman

Nydia Eileen Westman was an American actress and singer of stage, screen, and television.

Freda Jackson English actress

Freda Maud Jackson was an English stage actress who also worked in film and television.

Nora Swinburne British actress (1902-2000)

Leonora Mary Johnson, known professionally as Nora Swinburne, was an English actress. She is best known for her appearances in many British films.

Harold Kasket

Harold Kasket was an English actor in theatre, films and later TV from the 1940s. Kasket usually played Arabs or mainland European types in many films and TV programmes such as Maigret, The Saint, Danger Man, Z-Cars, Department S and The Tomorrow People.

Nana Bryant American actress (1888–1955)

Nana Irene Bryant was an American film, stage, and television actress. She appeared in more than 100 films between 1935 and 1955.

<i>No Orchids for Miss Blandish</i> (film) 1948 British film

No Orchids for Miss Blandish is a 1948 British gangster film adapted and directed by St. John Legh Clowes from the 1939 novel of the same name by James Hadley Chase. It stars Jack La Rue, Hugh McDermott, and Linden Travers, with unbilled early appearances from Sid James, as a barman, and Walter Gotell, as a nightclub doorman. Due to the film's strong violence and sexual content for its time, amongst other reasons, several critics have called it one of the worst films ever made.

Hy Hazell English film actress (1919–1970)

Hyacinth Hazel O'Higgins, stage name Hy Hazell, was a British actress of theatre, musicals and revue as well as a contralto singer and film actress. Allmusic described her as "an exuberant comic actor and lively singer and dancer". A pretty brunette, with long legs, she was billed as Britain's answer to Betty Grable.

Barbara Yu Ling

Barbara Lee, who used the stage name Barbara Yu Ling, was a Singapore-born actress of stage, screen, and television who was based in Britain from the 1950s. One of the first Singaporean Chinese actresses to gain attention in Europe, she appeared in productions of Madame Butterfly and The World of Suzie Wong. Among the films she appeared in were The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), Ping Pong (1986), and Peggy Su! (1997).

No Orchids for Miss Blandish is a 1942 British stage adaptation by James Hadley Chase and Robert Nesbitt of Chase's 1939 novel of the same name. It ran for 203 performances at the Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End.

Kathleen Saintsbury was a British actress from the 1920s to the 1970s but who is best known today for playing Cissy Godfrey in the BBC comedy Dad's Army.


  1. Braunton as Cissy Godfrey on the British Film Institute's Screenonline 'Dad's Army (1968–77)' webpage
  2. 1 2 3 Braunton on the Internet Movie Database
  3. - Review of John Glayde's Honour - Derby Daily Telegraph 16 June 1922
  4. Cast of Dracula - Lincolnshire Echo 13 November 1926
  5. Minnie Malinda Braunton on UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 - (subscription required)
  6. 'Nan Braunton to Play A Centenarian' - Nottingham Evening Post 15 July 1939
  7. No Orchids for Miss Blandish on the History of Bristol Hippodrome website
  8. The Boy David on the Theatricalia website
  9. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005 for Minnie Braunton - (subscription required)