Monday 13 November 2017

Watch: Janet Brown's This Is Your Life

Now here's a lovely thing. Browsing the net the other day I came upon Janet Brown's This Is Your Life tribute show from way back in 1980. To those of a certain vintage, Janet will be best remembered as an impressionist and comedienne, most famous for her impression of Mrs Thatcher, her own shows on television and working with Mike Yarwood. 

To us Carry On fans, she is also known as the wife of the late, great Peter Butterworth. Janet was married to Peter from 1947 until his sad, early death in January 1979. Together they had two children, Tyler, still an actor to this day and very much his father's son, and Emma. As well as a long and happy marriage, Peter and Janet also starred together in many television shows during the 1950s, especially on children's television.

Janet's This Is Your Life is a really good watch, made even more poignant by the still recent loss of Peter. This is touched upon several times by host Eamonn Andrews and it's clear just how much love and affection there was for Butterworth. To Janet's credit, she threw herself into work in the early 1980s after taking time out to raise their children. Mostly known to us as Peter's wife it's great to see her in the spotlight for a change, although bittersweet that Peter wasn't sitting beside his wife, beaming with pride.

Janet would continue to make regular appearances on television and on stage well into her 80s. Her last film appearance came in 2010 while her last stage appearance was three years earlier, as Old Lady Squeamish in the West End production of The Country Wife at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Janet lived in Hove in her later years and was still very active until her death at the age of 87 in 2011. Sadly, her daughter Emma predeceased her, passing away at the age of just 34 in 1996. Tyler is now married, to the actress Janet Dibley and together they have two sons.

Although Janet never did make a Carry On, you may remember she popped up for a supporting role as Sid's departing neighbour Annie in the 1972 film Bless This House, a Carry On in all but name. 

However, for many of us she will always be remembered for this:

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