Thursday 8 March 2018

My Top 20 Carry On Actors: Number 18 - Marianne Stone

This is part of a brand new series of blogs where I will take a purely personal look at my favourite Carry On actors. I will be doing a countdown of my top twenty actors and actresses in this, the sixtieth anniversary year of Carry On. So why top twenty? Well top ten didn't allow me to include all my favourites and any more than twenty and I'd be at it forever, as it were.

This top twenty will be a mix of regular top team actors and many of those instantly recognisable supporting actors who popped in and out of the series, adding superb cameos here and there. You will probably agree with some of my main choices and be vehemently opposed to others, but it's meant to encourage debate! 

So here we go with Number Eighteen: that instantly recognisable character actress who probably appeared in more films than anyone else - Marianne Stone.

Marianne Stone is one of the most fondly remembered Carry On supporting actresses. Stone appeared in countless films during a forty year career, many of the parts small cameos. In the Carry Ons though, Marianne found her niche. A close friend of producer Peter Rogers, Marianne popped up on screen in a total of nine Carry Ons (the same number as Barbara Windsor), overdubbed Lucy Griffiths in Carry On Constable and filmed a scene for Carry On Matron which was eventually cut from the final film. So quite an impressive, important Carry On contribution.

Marianne's appearances also almost spanned the entire run of the series, from her first role as Alice Able in Carry On Nurse in 1959 through to Mrs Rowan in 1975's Carry On Behind. Stone's most sizeable role was probably that of Maud, Joan SIms' colleague and mate in the 1971 toilet factory comedy At Your Convenience. My own favourite of all her roles was as the old crone Maggie, stealing scenes from Jack Douglas and Kenneth Williams in Carry On Dick.

Marianne Stone, much like Peter Gilmore who I've already featured in the series, took on any role Peter Rogers Productions threw at her at went for it. From the gobby landlady in Don't Lose Your Head and the exasperated Cockney mother in Carry On Doctor through to Maggie in Dick, Marianne was a highly skilled, trained actor who showed what she was made of when given the chance. 

Marianne Stone finds a place on this of of my favourite Carry On actors because she was a loyal Carry On player, who worked ever so well with all the regular team members. Her parts may have mostly been small, but you always felt happy to see her in one of the Carry Ons and well, they just don't make them like that any more.

So Marianne Stone comes in at Number 18 in my top twenty list of favourite actors. Who'll be next?

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