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Dandy Nichols

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Dandy Nichols (21st May 1907 - 6th February 1986) was born "Daisy Sander" in London and started her working life as a secretary but after twelve years of such work, coupled with theatrical training, she became a full-time actress, starting in repertory theatre. She specialised, and indeed was somewhat typecast, in comedy character roles, appearing in the West End and on Broadway as well as films such as The Winslow Boy and Scott of the Antarctic. On television she appeared in Emergency-Ward 10, Walk a Crooked Mile and No Hiding Place (with Johnny Briggs) as well as The Host with the Most, a second season episode of the Coronation Street spin-off Pardon the Expression as Miss Pledge, a nervous tenant of a flat in the same block as Leonard Swindley. That same year (1966) she had a career-changing role when she was cast as Else Garnett in the first season of the seminal comedy Till Death Us Do Part, a role that was played in a pilot episode by her good friend Gretchen Franklin. The programme and its regular cast soon became household names to the point where, even today, her many other roles and talents have become somewhat eclipsed.

Although she left the series in 1974, citing working differences with her co-star Warren Mitchell as one of the reasons, she did return to the role in later sequels, including the first series of In Sickness and in Health even though illnesses including malnutrition and rheumatoid arthritis meant she had to use a wheelchair. She was still making the series at the time of her death.

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