Rosemary Leach

Last updated

Rosemary Leach
Actress Rosemary Leach.jpg
Photo: Geoff Shields, 1981
Rosemary Anne Leach [1]

(1935-12-18)18 December 1935
Died21 October 2017(2017-10-21) (aged 81) [2]
London, England
Years active1960–2017
Colin Starkey
(m. 1981)

Rosemary Anne Leach (18 December 1935 – 21 October 2017) was a British stage, television and film actress. [3] She won the 1982 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a New Play for 84, Charing Cross Road and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her roles in the films That'll Be the Day (1973) and A Room with a View (1985). [4] [5]


She appeared in several TV mini-series, including Germinal (1970), The Jewel in the Crown (1984), The Charmer (1987), The Buccaneers (1995) and Berkeley Square (1998), and had a recurring role on the sitcom My Family (2003–2007). [6] [7]

Early life

Leach was born at Much Wenlock, Shropshire. [3] Her parents were teachers, related to the social anthropologist Edmund Leach, she attended grammar school and RADA. [8] After appearing in repertory theatres and the Old Vic she became well known to UK TV viewers between 1965 and 1969 for playing Susan Wheldon, the mistress of building tycoon John Wilder (Patrick Wymark) in the TV boardroom drama The Power Game . [9]


In 1971 she appeared as Laurie Lee's mother in a BBC adaptation of Cider with Rosie .

In 1973, she played Aldonza/Dulcinea in the BBC production of Don Quixote (retitled The Adventures of Don Quixote), starring Rex Harrison and Frank Finlay. [10] In 1978, she played Queen Victoria in the four-part TV edition of Disraeli . In 1981, she played Emilia opposite Bob Hoskins's Iago in the BBC Shakespeare production of Othello . [11]

In 1982, she played Aunt Fenny in The Jewel in the Crown and 1986 in a Jack Rosenthal British television Christmas play Day To Remember . [12] [13] She played a leading role as smitten Joan Plumleigh-Bruce in the six-part ITV 1987 production of The Charmer which starred Nigel Havers. [14]

Her film roles included David Essex's mother in That'll Be the Day (1973), Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1973), the TV remake of Brief Encounter (1974), S.O.S. Titanic (1979), and a voice role in the animated film of The Plague Dogs (1982). [3]

In 1987, she was nominated for BAFTA's Best Supporting Actress for A Room with a View (1985). [6] In 1992, Leach starred in An Ungentlemanly Act , a BBC television film about the first days of the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982, portraying the real-life Lady Mavis Hunt, wife of the islands' then governor, Sir Rex Hunt. [15] In 1995, Leach participated in the popular BBC miniseries The Buccaneers a five-part television adaptation of Edith Wharton's unfinished novel. Leach appeared as Selina Marable, Marchioness of Brightlingsea. [16]

Leach played the part of Anna in BBC Radio 4's No Commitments , and Susan Harper's mother Grace in My Family . [17] [18] She made a guest appearance as 'Bessie' on Waterloo Road (the TV series), in Series 3 Spring Term. From 1994, she made occasional appearances in The Archers as Ellen Rogers, the ex-pat aunt of Nigel Pargetter. [19] She portrayed Miss Twitterton in the Radio 4 adaptation of the Lord Peter Wimsey story Busman's Honeymoon , first broadcast in 1983. [20]

In 2001, she played a leading role in Destroying Angel , an episode of Midsomer Murders . [21] She played Queen Elizabeth II three times: in the 2002 television movie Prince William; in a 2006 updated edition of The Afternoon Play entitled Tea with Betty; and in 2009's Margaret . [9] She played "Miss Plum" in an episode of Heartbeat called "Strangers on a Train" in 2004. [22]


Leach died in a London hospital, aged 81, in 2017 following a short but undisclosed illness. [2]



1973 That'll Be the Day Mrs. MacLaine
1973 Ghost in the Noonday Sun Kate
1979A Question of Faith
1981 Turtle Diary Mrs. Charlie Inchcliff
1982 The Plague Dogs VeraVoice
1985 A Room with a View Mrs. Honeychurch
1985Ha-KalaEstherAlso known as The 17th Bride
1990 The Children Miss Scope
1993 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Mrs. Tope
1993 The Hawk Mrs. Marsh
1998Bloodlines: Legacy of a LordLady Osborne
1999 Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? Harold's Mother
2000BreathtakingMrs. Henshaw
2002The Baroness and the PigMargaret
2010 Mission London Miss Cunningham
2011 The Great Ghost Rescue The Queen
2012May I Kill U?Mags


1962–63 Z-Cars Mrs Outram/Ann Brown2 episodes
1964 Edgar Wallace Mysteries Mary Bell"Episode: Face of a Stranger"
1964 Gideon's Way Marion Grove"Episode: The Lady-Killer"
1967–70 No – That's Me Over Here! Rosemary25 episodes
1970 The Roads to Freedom Marcelle8 episodes
1972Cider with RosieMotherTV film
1973 BBC Play of the Month Episode: The Adventures of Don Quixote
1974 The Prince of Denmark Laura6 episodes
1974 Brief Encounter Mrs GainesTV film
1975 Sadie, It's Cold Outside Sadie6 episodes
1979 Rumpole of the Bailey Mrs. Ida TempestEpisode: Rumpole and the Man of God
1978–80Life Begins at Forty (1978 TV series)Katy BuntingITV sitcom, 2 series 14 episodes
1984 The Jewel in the Crown Aunt FennyTV mini-series, 7 episodes
1987 The Charmer Joan Plumleigh-BruceTV mini-series, 6 episodes
1989 Summer's Lease Nancy Leadbetter4 episodes
1995 The Buccaneers Lady Brightlingsea5 episodes
The Tomorrow People Gladys Toms5 episodes
1989 The Winslow Boy VioletBBC Playhouse
1998 Berkeley Square Nanny Collins10 episodes
2000–05 Doctors Josephine Barker/Meg Carpenter2 episodes
2001 Midsomer Murders Evelyn PopeEpisode: Destroying Angel
2003–07 My Family Grace6 episodes
2004 Holby City Barbara RushEpisode: One More Chance
2004–05 Heartbeat Dorothy Plum2 episodes
2006 The Afternoon Play HM the QueenEpisode: Tea with Betty
2007 Casualty Miranda WattsEpisode: Strangers When We Meet
2009 Margaret Queen Elizabeth II TV film

Radio plays

PENNY in "Love's Executioner" in the series TRUE ENCOUNTERS with Henry Goodman and Ben Daniels directed by John Taylor, a Fiction Factory production for BBC Radio 4. (1996)

Awards and nominations

1971 BAFTA TV Award Best Actress Germinal / The Roads to Freedom Nominated [23]
1972BAFTA TV AwardBest ActressITV Playhouse / Cider with RosieNominated
1974BAFTA TV AwardBest ActressThe Adventures of Don QuixoteNominated
1974 BAFTA Film Award Best Supporting Actress That'll Be the Day Nominated [5]
1977 Olivier Award Best Actress in a New Play Just Between OurselvesNominated
1982Olivier AwardBest Actress in a New Play 84 Charing Cross Road Won
1987BAFTA Film AwardBest Supporting Actress A Room with a View Nominated

Related Research Articles

Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey is the fictional protagonist in a series of detective novels and short stories by Dorothy L. Sayers. A dilettante who solves mysteries for his own amusement, Wimsey is an archetype for the British gentleman detective. Lord Peter is often assisted by his valet and former batman, Mervyn Bunter; by his good friend and later brother-in-law, police detective Charles Parker; and, in a few books, by Harriet Vane, who becomes his wife.

<i>Busmans Honeymoon</i> 1937 mystery novel by Dorothy L. Sayers

Busman's Honeymoon is a 1937 novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, her eleventh and last featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, and her fourth and last to feature Harriet Vane.

Julie Walters English actress and author (born 1950)

Dame Julia Mary Walters, known professionally as Julie Walters, is an English actress, comedian, and author. She is the recipient of four British Academy Television Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, two International Emmy Awards, a BAFTA Fellowship, and a Golden Globe. Walters has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, once for Best Actress and once for Best Supporting Actress.

Annette Crosbie is a Scottish actor. In 1970, she appeared in an episode of Callan, “Amos Green must live”, as Mrs May Coswood. She is best known for her role as Margaret Meldrew in the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave (1990–2000). She twice won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress, for The Six Wives of Henry VIII in 1971 and Edward the Seventh. In 1976, she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the 1976 film The Slipper and the Rose and she won the award for Best Actress at the Evening Standard British Film Awards for the same role. Her other film appearances include The Pope Must Die (1991), Shooting Fish (1997), The Debt Collector (1999), Calendar Girls (2003) and Into the Woods (2014).

Jenny Agutter British actress

Jennifer Ann Agutter is a British actress. She began her career as a child actress in 1964, appearing in East of Sudan, Star!, and two adaptations of The Railway Children—the BBC's 1968 television serial and the 1970 film version. She also starred in the critically acclaimed film Walkabout and the TV film The Snow Goose, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama.

Kelly Macdonald Scottish actress

Kelly Macdonald is a Scottish actress best known for her roles in Trainspotting (1996), Gosford Park (2001), Intermission (2003), Nanny McPhee (2005), Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), Brave (2012), and the Black Mirror episode "Hated in the Nation" (2016). For the 2005 TV film The Girl in the Cafe, she was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. In 2003, she appeared in the acclaimed BBC miniseries State of Play as journalist Della Smith.

Katherine Lucy Bridget Burke is an English actress, comedian, writer, producer, and director. She achieved fame with her appearances on sketch shows such as French and Saunders (1988–1999) and her recurring role as Magda on the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012), as well as her frequent collaborations with fellow comedian Harry Enfield. For her portrayal of Valerie in the 1997 film Nil by Mouth, she won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Gemma Jones British actress

Jennifer "Gemma" Jones is an English character actress on both stage and screen. Her film appearances include Sense and Sensibility (1995), the Bridget Jones series (2001–2016), the Harry Potter series (2002–2011), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), and Ammonite (2020).

Keeley Hawes British actress

Clare Julia "Keeley" Hawes is an English actress and producer. After beginning her career in a number of literary adaptations, including Our Mutual Friend (1998) and Tipping the Velvet (2002), Hawes rose to fame for her portrayal of Zoe Reynolds in the BBC series Spooks (2002–2004), followed by her co-lead performance as DI Alex Drake in Ashes to Ashes (2008–2010), for which she won a Glamour Award for UK TV Actress.

Olivia Colman English actress

Sarah Caroline Sinclair, known professionally as Olivia Colman, is an English actress. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, three British Academy Television Awards, a British Academy Film Award, three Golden Globe Awards, four British Independent Film Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the BFI Fellowship.

Ashley Jensen Scottish actress

Ashley Jensen is a British actress and narrator born in Scotland. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role on the television series Extras, in which she appeared from 2005 to 2007. She was a cast member of the ABC series Ugly Betty and the short-lived CBS sitcom Accidentally on Purpose. She also plays the main character in the comedy-drama detective television series Agatha Raisin.

Anna Maxwell Martin, sometimes credited as Anna Maxwell-Martin, is an English actress.

Phyllis Logan British actress

Phyllis Logan is a Scottish actress, known for playing Lady Jane Felsham in Lovejoy (1986–1993) and Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey (2010–2015). She won the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for the 1983 film Another Time, Another Place. Her other film appearances include Secrets & Lies (1996), Shooting Fish (1997), Downton Abbey (2019) and Misbehaviour (2020).

Ruth Wilson English actress

Ruth Wilson is an English actress. She is known for her performances as the eponymous protagonist in Jane Eyre (2006), as Alice Morgan in the BBC psychological crime drama Luther, as Alison Lockhart in the Showtime drama The Affair (2014–2018), and as the titular character in Mrs Wilson (2018). Since 2019, she has portrayed Marisa Coulter in the BBC/HBO fantasy series His Dark Materials, and for this role she won the 2020 BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actress. Her film credits include The Lone Ranger (2013), Saving Mr. Banks (2013), I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016), and Dark River (2017).

<i>An Ungentlemanly Act</i>

An Ungentlemanly Act is a 1992 BBC television film about the first days of the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.

Vicky McClure British actress

Victoria Lee McClure is an English actress, model and presenter. She is known for her roles as Detective Inspector Kate Fleming in the BBC series Line of Duty (2012–present) and Lol Jenkins in Shane Meadows' film This Is England (2006) and its Channel 4 sequel mini-series This is England '86 (2010), This Is England '88 (2011), and This Is England '90 (2015). Before This is England, she appeared in another of Meadows' films, A Room for Romeo Brass (1999), where she played Ladine. She won the RTS Award and British Academy Television Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Lol in This is England '86 in 2011.

Wunmi Mosaku English-Nigerian actress

Wunmi Mosaku is a Nigerian-born British actress. She is known for her roles as Joy in the BBC Two miniseries Moses Jones (2009) and Holly Lawson in the ITV series Vera (2011–12). She won the 2017 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Gloria Taylor in the TV film Damilola, Our Loved Boy (2016). In 2019, she starred in the fifth series of Luther. In 2020, she starred as Ruby Baptiste in HBO's Lovecraft Country.

Monica Dolan British actress

Monica Margaret Dolan is a British actress. She won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Rosemary West in Appropriate Adult (2011).

Emily Richard is a British actress and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Jodie Marie Comer is an English actress. She is best known for her role as Oksana Astankova / Villanelle in the British black comedy-drama spy thriller Killing Eve (2018–present), for which she has received critical acclaim and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress.


  1. "Index entry". FreeBMD . Office for National Statistics . Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  2. 1 2 "Rosemary Leach, the Room With a View star, dies aged 81". The Daily Telegraph. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 "Rosemary Leach". British Film Institute . Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  4. "Olivier Winners 1982". Society of London Theatre . 1982. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  5. 1 2 "Rosemary Leach". British Academy of Film and Television Arts . 23 October 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  6. 1 2 "Rosemary Leach". AllMovie . Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  7. Quinn, Michael (1 November 2017). "Obituary: Rosemary Leach". The Stage . Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  8. Hayward, Anthony (27 October 2017). "Rosemary Leach: 'A Room With A View' actor whose roles spanned ages, genres and social divides". The Independent . Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  9. 1 2 Coveney, Michael (22 October 2017). "Rosemary Leach obituary". The Guardian . Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  10. "The Adventures of Don Quixote (1973)". British Film Institute.
  11. "Othello (1981)". British Film Institute.
  12. "BFI Screenonline: Jewel in the Crown, The (1984) Credits".
  13. "Day to Remember (1986)". British Film Institute.
  14. "..: The Charmer :."
  15. "An Ungentlemanly Act (1992) – - Cast and Crew". AllMovie .
  16. "The Buccaneers Part Five Plunder (1995)". British Film Institute.
  17. "BBC Radio 4 Extra – No Commitments, Series 13, Blue Rabbits". BBC Radio 4 .
  18. "Actress Leach dies after 'short illness'". BBC News. 22 October 2017.
  19. "BBC Radio 4 – The Archers – Ellen Rogers". BBC Radio 4 .
  20. "BBC Radio 4 Extra – Wimsey, Busman's Honeymoon, The Mysteries of Married Life". BBC Radio 4 .
  21. "Midsomer Murders (a guide)". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  22. "Strangers on a Train (2004)". British Film Institute.
  23. "BAFTA Awards".