Actress Edna Doré has died aged 92. She’s possibly best remembered for her role as Mo Butcher in BBC One serial EastEnders, where she appeared for three years as Mike Reid’s on-screen mother.
The death of the actress was confirmed to the BBC by her agent, Belinda Wright, who noted Doré died peacefully in her sleep on Friday, April 11th. Yesterday Paul O’Grady paid tribute to the performer, who had over seven decades of professional acting to her credit, on his BBC Radio 2 show:
“She was a remarkable lady”
Speaking of his time with Doré on BBC One sitcom EyesDown, set in a bingo hall, he recalled:
“I’ve never had so many laughs, she was just a bundle of fun… We got sent home from rehearsals one day for laughing. I won’t tell you why but Edna said: ‘In my 70 years in the business, I’ve never been sent out of rehearsals’… She had a remarkable career. She might be gone but she’s not forgotten by me. I had a ball with Edna, what a laugh she was.”
There were many television, film and stage appearances down the years including several popular series such as sci-fi drama Doctor Who, police serial Z Cars, sitcom Open All Hours and medical drama Casualty. For television viewers however her best known role will most likey be that of Mo Butcher in top rating soap opera EastEnders where Doré was a fixture from 1988 to 1990. In the storylines she played the mother of Frank Butcher, played by the late actor and comedian Mike Reid. Described as a battleaxe her role gifted her with many great quips.
Film credits include 1988’s High Hopes from Mike Leigh. The plot of a pensioner who was suffereing a lonely life, in a rundown high rise, gained her the title of best supporting actor at the European Film Awards in the same year. As well as Gary Oldman’s Nil By Mouth, the 1998 production of Les Miserables, Tube Tales a year later, Goodbye Charlie Bright in 2001 and more recently 2010’s 44 Inch Chest. Theatre credits include several major West End productions.
“Born Edna Gorring and raised in Bromley, Kent, she began her career as a chorus girl with the Entertainments National Service Association during World War Two before spending almost 20 years in repertory theatre, as well as another decade at the National Theatre.” – BBC
“An enthusiastic gardener, Doré kept an allotment near her home in Barnes, south-west London, for 50 years, serving as chairman of the Barn Elms Allotment Society, regularly winning the flower class in the annual garden show, and was lately installed as life president. Her husband Alexander died in 2002. She is survived by their son, Michael, a publican in Hampshire, three grandsons and a granddaughter.” – The Guardian
We’ll remember Edna Doré with this classic clip from EastEnders: