Lynda Baron, star of Open All Hours and Come Outside, dies aged 82

BREAKING: Lynda Baron, star of Open All Hours and 90s BBC children’s TV show Come Outside, dies aged 82

  • Actress best known for role in BBC sitcom Open All Hours with Sir David Jason
  • She also starred as Auntie Mabel in the BBC children’s show Come Outside
  • Her agent of nearly 30 years confirmed her passing in a statement on Monday

Actress Lynda Baron, best known for the BBC sitcom Open All Hours, has died at the age of 82, her agent has announced.

Baron starred opposite Sir David Jason and Ronnie Barker as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in the hit BBC sitcom, which ran for four series starting in 1976.

She also appeared in the sequel Still Open All Hours when it returned in 2013, and played Auntie Mabel in the 1990s BBC children’s programme Come Outside. 

Actress Lynda Baron, best known for the BBC sitcom Open All Hours, has died at the age of 82

As Gladys Emmanuel, she played a character who was constantly occupied by her rounds and taking care of her mother while resisting the romantic advances of Arkwright – played by Ronnie Barker.

As Auntie Mabel, she encouraged children to be curious about the world around them, tackling topics such as wood and spiders while travelling in her polka-dotted Slingsby T67 Firefly with her dog Pippin.

She is also known for playing Linda Clarke, Jane Beale’s mother, in a recurring guest role on Eastenders. 

Baron originally trained as a dancer at the Royal Academy of Dance and repertory theatre and several West End venues

A statement to the PA news agency from her agent of nearly 30 years, Donna French, said: ‘It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved client Lynda Baron.

‘She was a wonderful actress and a great friend.

‘Her iconic roles of Nurse Gladys in Open All Hours and Aunt Mabel in Come Outside were loved by all generations.

‘Renowned for her leading roles in West End musicals and dramatic productions alike, we have lost a leading light of our world.

Baron appeared in Open All Hours starting in 1976 and also made appearances in the sequel, Still Open All Hours, when it aired in 2013

She was known to generations of children as Auntie Mabel from the BBC children’s TV show Come Outside

‘We extend our deepest condolences to her daughter Sarah, her son Morgan and all her family.’

Baron originally trained as a dancer at the Royal Academy of Dance and repertory theatre and several West End venues after she was born in Urmston, Lancashire in 1939.

Baron also appeared in the ITV sitcom Oh No, It’s Selwyn Froggitt, BBC soap and made appearances in Doctor Who, Last Of The Summer Wine and Dinner Ladies.

She was nominated for a Bafta in 2011 for her role in The Road To Coronation Street on BBC Four, a one-off drama about the early days of the soap, in which she played actress Violet Carson, who portrayed Ena Sharples in the long-running series.

Her film credits also included 2020’s sports movie Dream Horse which starred Damian Lewis and Joanna Page, Woody Allen’s 2006 romantic crime Scoop and 2005’s Colour Me Kubrick.

Baron also featured in the musical Follies in the West End and in the stage version of In Celebration alongside Orlando Bloom.

She appeared in numerous other theatre productions including An Inspector Calls, Stepping Out and The Full Monty.

Baron was active in her career until her death.

In 2020, she told the Sunday Post that despite being 81 at the time, she was still open to new acting challenges.

She said: ‘I loved playing Nurse Gladys and Auntie Mabel but I couldn’t name my favourite of the different characters I have played.

‘Partly that is because I am really the sort of person who prefers to look ahead and think about what I am doing now and, importantly, what I am going to do next. 

She married John Lee in 1966 and celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 2016.

The couple had two adult children, Sarah and Morgan. 

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