Saturday 6 January 2018

Whatever Happened to Lucy Griffiths?

I received an email recently from someone looking for more information on the late actress Lucy Griffiths. Lucy was never a star but having checked out her profile online she did make over one hundred, mainly brief or supporting roles on screen during her acting career. Lucy has one of those recognisable faces that all diehard Carry On fans will know and she appeared several times in the series from the very early days right through to fairly late on in the original run of films.

Lucy first appeared in the Carry Ons in late 1958 when she played the small yet memorable role of Trolley Lady in Carry On Nurse. She has that scene with Kenneth Connor which always makes me laugh. When asked by Kenneth's Bernie Bishop if she has any fruit bars, Griffiths replies "No, but I've got a sliced nut". Bishop replies through childish giggles "Come to the right place to have it mended then!" Quite. Lucy returned to the Carry Ons almost a year later to play the rather excitable part of nosy neighbour Miss Horton in Carry On Constable. Believing her neighbours are being burgled (it's actually Shirley Eaton in the bath), she sends P.C Leslie Phillips to investigate. However all is not what it seems with this role as Lucy's lines were actually dubbed by that other familiar supporting actress, Marianne Stone.

Lucy did appear in the following film, Carry On Regardless, playing Patrick Cargill's Auntie in a brief scene with Terence Longdon and Liz Fraser at the Ideal Home Exhibition, however she has no lines, or lines she did have were cut from the final print. Over six years later and Lucy was back playing the elderly Miss Morris, a patient in Caffin Ward seen in Carry On Doctor. Miss Morris is switched beds with Dilys Laye's Mavis Winkle after Mavis receives attention from Bernard Bresslaw's Ken Biddle. A mix up ensues leading Jim Dale's Dr Kilmore to believe the object of Ken's affections is Miss Morris, not the fragrant Mavis! Lucy was back for a very brief part in Carry On Again Doctor two years later which see her playing an old lady once again who's earphones explode during Dr Nookey's hospital rampage! Although playing old ladies at this stage of her career, according to the internet Ms Griffiths was actually only around fifty years old at the time!

The following year, 1970, saw Lucy appear in the role of "Woman" in Carry On Loving however whatever this role entailed we'll never know as her scene was cut from the film. Lucy's final role in the series came five years later in Carry On Behind. Although uncredited she can be seen wearing a hat in the audience of Kenneth Williams' rather revealing lecture at the start of the film! Lucy also worked for Peter and Gerald in two other non-Carry Ons in the early days. She played a gossiping lady in a queue at the bookshop in the wonderful 1959 Ted Ray film, Please Turn Over. And four years later she can be glimpsed as another nosy character peering through her window near the beginning of the Juliet Mills district nurse comedy, Nurse On Wheels.

Born in Herefordshire in April 1919, Lucy Griffiths began to appear in films in the early 1950s. Some of her most notable roles came in three of the 1960s Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple films - as Lucy in Murder She Said in 1961 and three years later as Millie in Murder, Ahoy! and Miss Rusty in Murder Most Foul. Lucy also appeared in several classic horror films such as The Flesh and the Fiends, The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll (both 1960) and Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell in 1974. She also had small parts in notable big productions such as The Ladykillers, Under Milk Wood, No Sex Please, We're British and the Disney film, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing (which co-stars familiar Carry On talent Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw and Amanda Barrie). Lucy's last big screen role was as Iris in the 1978 film, The Hound of the Baskervilles, a rather miss-firing spoof which starred Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and a certain Kenneth Williams.

On television, Lucy had a recurring role as Mrs Crane in the series Emergency Ward 10 in 1960. There were also several different appearances in episodes of The Wednesday Play strand, all filmed between 1965 and 1966. Comedy roles on the small screen included guest parts in famous series such as The Likely Lads, Please Sir!, Doctor in the House, On the Buses and Mind Your Language. Some of Lucy's later parts on the small screen included the part of Mrs Grier in two 1978 episodes of the wonderful series All Creatures Great and Small, the part of Edna in three episodes of the 1979 drama, A Moment in Time and the role of Dulcie in the 1981 television film, Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective, which starred Bernard Cribbins and Bill Maynard.

Lucy Griffiths' final role was that of Mrs Bulstrode in an episode of Armchair Thriller entitled "The Chelsea Murders" first broadcast on 30 December 1981. Sadly Lucy would pass away the following year on 29 September 1982 at the age of just 63. There is practically no information on Lucy Griffiths online so I'm afraid there is little more to say on her. If anyone does know anything more about this very recognisable supporting actress, please do get in touch.

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  1. Hi Graeme, I've just discovered your blog whilst making myself a gallery of all things "Carry On". I look forward to going through your archives now!

  2. Hi Graeme, I've just discovered your blog whilst making myself a gallery of all things "Carry On". I look forward to going through your archives now!