View Full Version : Are You Being Served actress Mollie Sugden dies at 86

Jul 9th, 2009, 04:00 PM
LONDON – British comic actress Mollie Sugden[/color][/color], who played the formidable saleswoman Mrs. Slocombe in the BBC's long running comedy series "Are You Being Served?", has died aged 86.
Sugden built a career playing strong-willed, overbearing women — she played a snobbish mother in "The Liver Birds," a comedy about two women sharing an apartment in Liverpool in the 1970s — but it was her role as Betty Slocombe that made her a household name.
As the bossy saleswoman who dominated the underwear section at the Grace Brothers department store, Sugden delivered double entendres in a perfectly outraged voice, shaking her tightly curled, dyed hair.
The show ran from 1973 to 1985 and at its height attracted audiences of over 20 million.
Sugden was born in Keighley, in northern England, in July 1922, and trained at London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She met her husband William Moore in 1956 while they were both acting in theater. They married two years later and their twin sons were born six years after that.
Moore died nine years ago. Sugden's agent Joan Reddin said her two sons Robin and Simon Moore were with the actress when she died July 1.
I'm extremely saddened by this news. Are You Being Served? is my all-time favorite show and Mrs. Slocombe was my favorite character :sad:

Jul 9th, 2009, 04:52 PM
She died a week ago :scratch:

Jul 9th, 2009, 04:55 PM
I love that show. Mrs. Slocombe was my favorite character after Mr. Humphries.


Jul 9th, 2009, 05:18 PM
She died a week ago :scratch:
I was late in getting the news.
Hopefully this wasn't posted before.
But it's still very sad to hear.

Jul 9th, 2009, 05:24 PM
RIP Mrs Slocombe :sad:

Jul 9th, 2009, 05:27 PM
That show is an icon. Never goes out of style or stops being funny. The life in those characters jumps out at you.

A life well-lived, Mollie Sugden. :hug:


Jul 9th, 2009, 06:12 PM
That show is an icon. Never goes out of style or stops being funny. The life in those characters jumps out at you.

A life well-lived, Mollie Sugden. :hug:


erm what has Patricia Routledge got to do with this thread?

Jul 9th, 2009, 06:16 PM
I read this a couple days ago. :sobbing: I loved Ms. Slocombe. She was my favorite character on the show. :sad: RIP Mollie

Jul 9th, 2009, 06:18 PM
What a great show and great woman! RIP x

Jul 9th, 2009, 06:37 PM
erm what has Patricia Routledge got to do with this thread?

Dame Patricia :worship: Wrong picture, I guess ;)

Jul 9th, 2009, 07:12 PM
I don't think i saw her in any other show or movie, but i really loved her in Are You Being Served:). RIP :kiss:

Jul 9th, 2009, 09:49 PM
She was great in that show.......and I'm unanimous in that.

Randy H
Jul 10th, 2009, 01:22 AM
Sad :( She was my favourite character on the show...RIP :sad:

Jul 10th, 2009, 04:20 AM
erm what has Patricia Routledge got to do with this thread?

Dame Patricia :worship: Wrong picture, I guess ;)

I wanted a picture of the woman, not the character. I will see if I can find another one.

Jul 10th, 2009, 04:33 AM

A Brief History

(transcribed by Ellen Holbrook)

MOLLIE: The word "knickers" has such a naughty, saucy connotation, doesn't it? You know,
it's not a word people use very often. I was having tea, we were all sitting around a
table. Sitting next to me was a boy, he'd be about eight years old and obviously he had
been told to behave himself and equally obvious he had no intention of behaving himself and
he kept muttering things under his breath, little rude words and now and again just
pinching me and I could see that his mother knew what he was doing and was terribly
embarrassed and so I just turned to him and said: "and knickers to you!" Well, you've never
seen such an expression and he couldn't believe his ears that a grown-up would use such a
rude word, but mind you it did the trick because he behaved himself after that!

INTRODUCER: Embarrassment about underwear can start at a very early age, as Mollie Sugden

MOLLIE: I cannot tell you what we wore as children, I mean I can remember when I was about
five years old, which was over seventy years ago, so remember, but we wore the most amazing
amount of clothes. I remember having "combs" or "combinations" and they were like a vest
and knickers all in one, and then underneath that there'd be a Liberty Bodice, I don't know
if you have ever seen a Liberty Bodice, they have to be seen to be believed! And they have
little rubber buttons all around to which were attached suspenders with little buttonholes
made out of leather and you would fasten these buttonholes onto the little rubber buttons
on your Liberty Bodice and they held up your black stockings and then on top of all that
you had knickers and they were - well, just the usual navy blue school knickers, you know,
with elastic around the bottom but it was terrible to show any leg, but it was terribly
difficult because the suspenders were rather long and therefore there was usually a gap in
between the knicker leg and the the top of your stockings and one wore such short gym
tunics and I was in mortal terror in case a boy should see the top of my leg between my
knickers and my stockings and the awful thing about these wretched suspenders was if you
bent down quickly they went "ping!" the button came off and you were left with suspenders
hanging down, it was dreadful! I don't know how I managed to grow up at all. *laughs* I
don't know why I didn't die of shame!

MOLLIE: I remember my husband saying, "You would like a different pair of knickers for
every day of the year - three hundred and sixty-five pairs of knickers!" and he'd used to
go in just before Christmas and he'd go into the ladies department with no shame at all and
say: "I want the sexiest pair of knickers you've got" *laughs* and the assistant used to be
quite amazed, *laugh* so it certainly didn't worry him but I mean in those days, remember
I've been married for forty years, they weren't as sexy as they are now, they weren't taken
back. *laughs* It was nothing like they have nowadays.

Mateo Mathieu
Jul 10th, 2009, 07:25 AM
RIP :sad: She was my favourite in the show as well.