Maria Charles was born on 22nd September, 1929 in London. The daughter of David and Celia Schneider, she made her stage debut as the Dormouse in a 1945 production of Alice in Wonderland at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing. Having worked extensively in theatre, TV and films, on Coronation Street she played the role of Blanche Hunt's good friend Lena Thistlewood intermittently between February and June 2005.

Other TV credits include: Nicholas Nickleby, ITV Television Playhouse, Crossroads, Pollyanna, Z Cars, Play for Today, Angels, Secret Army, Agony (alongside Maureen Lipman), Shine on Harvey Moon, Never the Twain, Boon, Lovejoy, Doctors, Bad Girls, Holby City and Skins.

Film credits include: Revenge of the Pink Panther, Cuba, Victor Victoria, Under the Bed, Savage Hearts, Sixty Six, Hot Fuzz and Sisterhood.

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