For his part, Schofield concentrated on his career as a music manager, signing the rock band East Of Eden, which went on to have a Top 10 hit with Jig A Jig. [45][f] In 1952 Jacques also portrayed Mrs Jenks in John Gilling's comedy horror film Mother Riley Meets the Vampire, co-starring Arthur Lucan and Bela Lugosi. [115] She appeared in her sixth Carry On, Carry On Cabby, in 1963, as "Peggy Hawkins", the emotionally neglected wife of taxi-firm boss "Charlie", played by Sid James. The final straw came when Schofield moved into the master bedroom, moving Le Mesuriers belongings into a loft room. On the day of the divorce, they all celebrated together and Hattie, John and Joan remained lifelong friends. (film) Hattie is a television film about the life of British comic actress Hattie Jacques, played by Ruth Jones, her marriage to John Le Mesurier ( Robert Bathurst) and her affair with their lodger John Schofield ( Aidan Turner ). [117], Jacques's private life became complicated in 1963. [46] Chance of a Lifetime is a social and industrial relations drama based in a plough factory whose manager cedes control to the workforce. Find the best deals on Women's Handbags & Wallets from your favorite brands. [30] While engaged at the Players' in June 1947, Jacques was introduced to the actor John Le Mesurier and the two began a relationship. Le Mesurier also recalled her visiting him in hospital with a black eye. They became man and wife in 1949. Shop our favorite Plus Size Clothing finds at great prices. She was born Josephine Jaques (there was no "c" at first) in Kent in 1922. Though she allowed herself to be cast as the battleaxe trumpeting down the hospital ward or running a girls boarding school called Chayste Place Hattie Jacques was actually a sensuous and vivacious actress, whose face resembled that of Ava Gardner. [164][t], In May 1980 Jacques's doctor advised her against travelling to Greece on holiday as planned, so she visited Ireland instead. At Christmas 1964, more than a year after Schofield had moved in, Le Mesurier packed his bags. "Hattie carries on with biggest ever BBC4 audience",,, Films about adultery in the United Kingdom, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, Hattie: The Authorised Biography of Hattie Jacques, This page was last edited on 29 March 2023, at 21:51. Touch device users can . Once a weeks enough for any man, she responds reasonably. I learned so much from him". Today. Instead of sex, Jacques would have to learn to reconcile herself to a career of put-downs from Bernard Bresslaw and his ilk. The first series ran for 29 weeks until 19 December. John Schofield was the opposite - raw, intuitive, passionate and bristling with physical presence. Hattie Jacques (/deks/; born Josephine Edwina Jaques; 7 February 1922 6 October 1980) was an English comedy actress of stage, radio and screen. She died of a heart attack on 6 October 1980, at the age of 58. Here she portrayed a character named Ginger, who was described as a "grotesque figure", with an "insatiable lust for bestsellers on the atrocities of World War Two". [186], Gray observes that "Jacques is enduringly associated with the role of hospital matron"[1] and her portrayal of the character in five films had a lasting impact on both her legacy and on the role and view of Matrons in the National Health Service. Our split-up was totally amicable. She was Gretchen Von Schmettering and Dymphna Dobson in Norman Wisdom vehicles; Wisdom, she said, was difficult and self-centred. [83] She spent much of 1958 at the London Palladium, undertaking 380 performances of the revue Large as Life, alongside Terry-Thomas, Eric Sykes and Harry Secombe. [1] First broadcast in January 2011, it became the most watched programme on BBC Four ever and defeated biopic The Curse of Steptoe, which had held the record since 2008. It never occurred to her to go ex-directory. Save up to 50% on Women's Clothing when you shop now. Legendary comic actors Hattie Jacques and John LeMesurier seem the perfect couple, married with two young sons. [144] Another Carry On film followed in 1971, Carry On at Your Convenience, where she played Beattie Plummer, the housebound wife of Sid Plummer, played by Sid James. She later claimed they were engaged but that hed been killed in action, but it transpired that after proposing to her, the GI had gone back to his wife and children in the United States. To feed this lot on Christmas Day meant three turkeys on the go in three ovens. Hattie tried to make light of the latest change in our domestic routine. But she was an actress of far greater range than she was ever allowed to employ.. All through her showbiz years, she lived in Earls Court, and Joan Le Mesurier recalled: Hatties house was always the sort of place you wanted to move in. Hattie arrived one morning with some mail and magazines. And no wonder. As Hattie left, she blew a kiss to. Nevertheless, she was a fleet-footed dancer in school plays, good at acrobatics. Family friend Bruce Copp introduced Le Mesurier to Joan Mallin, a 33-year-old clerk at Marylebone Labour Exchange, who worked in the evenings behind the bar at the Queens Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue and encouraged by Hattie, who invited Joan to a party at Eardley Crescent, they began dating. Save up to 50% on Trending when you shop now. Williams is wrestled upside down as Jacquess long-suppressed desires break forth. . [j] Jacques's characterHattie (Hat) Sykeswas "a middle-class, slightly pretentious lady struggling to keep her dignity as the men made fools of themselves". From 1958 to 1974 she appeared in 14 Carry On films, playing various roles including the formidable hospital matron. [185] The actor Neville Phillips, who toured with Jacques, described her as having a "pretty voice" and able to "take an innocuous old Victorian or Edwardian ballad and with just a few intonations and expressions give it another meaning entirely". And as her biographer, Andy Merriman, pointed out, she had an aura of kindness around her, which is the quality finally registering with the audience. But we remained friends and my second husband Victor and I would go and visit him and Hattie.. She couldnt get medical cover for films (her role in Carry on Abroad had to be truncated and she was reduced to 11th on the bill), so she took to the road in a stage version of Sykes, the long-running sitcom about a brother and sister and their scrapes in Sebastopol Terrace. As Britt Eklands Spanish maid in The Bobo, Jacques found Peter Sellers tempestuous, to say the least. Harry Worth, encountered at the Palladium, was a martyr to piles. Visiting her in hospital to tell her their relationship was over, Schofield flung a gold medallion she had given him, inscribed with the words I love you on to her hospital bed and stormed out, neglecting to collect his possessions from Eardley Crescent or even to say goodbye to her sons. [172], A memorial plaque to Jacques is situated in St Paul's, Covent Garden. It turned out that, unbeknownst to the TV audience, her marriage to John Le Mesurier was in crisis. She was always a great asset to us and, as everyone can imagine, was always cheerful.. [188] After complaints about the NHS in 2008, the Western Morning News suggested the government should "clone a Hattie Jacques-type matron to run a tight ship everywhere". [126][m], Jacques went to Rome in 1966 to film The Bobo with Peter Sellers; before this she went on a strict diet and lost five stone (32kg), although she was disappointed that so few people noticed. Jacques joined as part of the storyline of episode five of the fourth series of the radio programme. He tells her that she is lovely and boosts her confidence about her plumpness. Gerald Thomas. Jacques sang Marie Lloyd songs and ended her act by leaping into the air and doing the splits. Worse, for 19 years Jacques was Eric Sykes's on-screen sister. [73][h] As well as recording in series five of Educating Archie, she was also cast as Mrs Leathers for 18 episodes of Mrs Dale's Diary between February and April 1955. [30] In September she started recording her second series of ITMAthe show's twelfth[35]before returning to the Players' for the Christmas pantomime, The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. This article related to a British film of the 2010s is a stub. Hattie Jacques. Another more modestly survived by making curtains. [134] As such, Rogers cast Jacques as Matron, with Sims accepting a smaller role as the timid assistant of the film's lead character Francis Bigger, played by Frankie Howerd. Although Le Mesurier did not mention the marital situation when being questioned by Andrews, he made the comment that for Jacques "the home comes first", which Merriman considered had been said "rather pointedly". [173] In November 1995 a blue plaque was unveiled by Eric Sykes and Clive Dunna colleague from her Players' Theatre daysat her former house: 67 Eardley Crescent, Earls Court, London. [189] NHS nurses have complained about the stereotype: in August 2013 the Nursing Times quoted one matron, who protested that they were "not like Hattie Jacques anymore". Le Mesurier found it increasingly hard to cope with the situation and flew to Tangiers for a break. Stephen Critchlow . Joan Malin. So much was clear to me when I returned from a few weeks on location to find that Schofield was well on the way to acting the part of a surrogate father, he writes in his autobiography. While Sykes and the Carry Ons kept her in the public eye, privately, Hatties weight was becoming a problem. [3][a], The Jaques family were predominantly non-theatrical, with the exception of Mary who appeared in the small role of Harry Hathaway in the Christmas pantomime Robinson Crusoe at the Palace Theatre, Cologne, in 1920. Jacques, who appeared with Eric in his hit TV show Sykes, died in 1980 at the age of 58. This led to offers of radio spots and bit parts in films: woman in sports car with dog; woman with a rose in her mouth. However, in 1963, after a charity fund raiser for leukaemia, Hattie meets the young and handsome John Schofield, whose son died of the disease. [190], Alan Simpson, the co-writer of Hancock, enjoyed writing for Jacques, and thought that she was "almost like a fella in terms of playing comedy; you didn't write for her thinking she's a woman so we've got to write the feminine point of view. [39] In the latter performance, The Times commented that Jacques "must surely be among the funniest fairies" in her role as the Fairy Queen Antedotawhich was one of her favourite parts. The first series ran until December 1960; a second series ran from September 1961 to April 1962. [84] She appeared in the sketches "Concerto for Three Buffoons" with Secombe and Sykes, "The Good Old Days", and the two full company numbers that closed each of the two halves of the show. Robin and Kim Le Mesurier were both fined 20 for the charge of the drugs possession. But in 1958, she starred in the first Carry On film and the first of 14 she would appear in and she was typecast from the off by playing a battleaxe medical officer in Carry On Sergeant. . Hattie quickly became besotted with him and, being so unconfident about her own looks, couldnt believe that someone so stunningly attractive could find her equally seductive., Carry On: Ruth Jones as Hattie in the new BBC drama. After 1944, she was never out of work. Always an unlikely sex goddess, Jacques nevertheless acquired a lover called John Schofield, a cockney used-car dealer whom Barbara Windsor appraised as "a gorgeous piece of crumpet" and. In 1949 she married the actor, John Le Mesurier, who found fame in Dad's Army, and the couple, who for a time lived in Margate, had two children. She took a weekend break from hospital and returned home to Eardley Crescent, where on 6 October she died from a heart attack in her sleep at the age of 58; she was also suffering from kidney failure. Bruce Copp, who ran the Chelsea restaurant The Hungry Horse, remembered Hattie going to visit him, in dark glasses and a headscarf, with a cut below her eye. In the early 70s, the insurers of the Carry Ons became concerned about Hatties health as well, and expressed reluctance to insure her for further films. [75][76], A second pregnancy led to the birth of a son, Kim, "who came rollicking and laughing into the world in October 1956, a trifle before his allotted time", according to Le Mesurier. When Eamonn Andrews ambushed her in the BBC television studios in Shepherds Bush in 1963, while she was rehearsing Sykes And A, Hattie looked somewhat uncomfortable throughout the whole experience. [12] She continued intermittently with amateur theatricals, and in May 1939 appeared with the Curtain Club in Barnes in productions of Fumed Oak and Borgia. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. We just gradually grew apart. She moved him into the family home, with "Le Mes" moving . [118] When Jacques decided to move Schofield into the family home, Le Mesurier moved into a separate room. Her mother instilled in her a love of the theatre, and the young Josephine would become principal ballet dancer at a dance school before the outbreak of the Second World War. Shop the best selection of deals on Food Storage now. Despite his previous behaviour, Hattie regularly met Schofield for passionate assignations during the Seventies. But The Mail on Sunday has discovered that he could not remain faithful to her, either. [67][g] She then directedbut did not appear inthe Players' Christmas pantomime of 1952, Babes in the Wood. [85], When the first Carry On film was made in 1958, Jacques formed part of the cast. [62], Jacques became pregnant in 1952, but worked through most of her pregnancy, appearing in the Players' revue The Bells of St Martins between August and November 1952: she slid down the table and did the splits at the end[63]something The Times thought was "especially good",[64] although The Manchester Guardian considered that she was "monumental of person but surprisingly thin of voice". Within months, Schofield had moved out of his home in Manor Park he barely saw his young son Mark again and become a lodger at Hatties chaotic marital home, in Eardley Crescent, Earls Court where friends and acquaintances regularly crashed in spare rooms. Hattie Jacques ( / deks /; born Josephine Edwina Jaques; 7 February 1922 - 6 October 1980) was an English comedy actress of stage, radio and screen. The moment is dramatised in Hattie, with her sitting on the edge of a rumpled bed in an ornate hotel room in Rome, flowers strewn around her feet and a champagne bucket kicked over on the floor. John wanted to go out and party while I was concentrating on looking after our son. She was much more than that. Jacques appeared in 14 of these films over a 15-year period[86] and like many of her Carry On co-stars, she quickly became typecast. Carry On Matron: Hattie Jacques playing her most famous character alongside Joan Sims in the 1972 film. I preferred her role as Eric Sykes sister because her weight was never referred to. But again, the mockery: Blimey, good job Adolf hasnt got a bomb that size! Her salvation was to join the Players Theatre, a music hall situated under the arches of Charing Cross, notorious for its rowdy patrons, who harked back to an era of mutton-chop whiskers, hot pies and rum punch. These are the best Videogames deals youll find online. [143] She spent May and June filming Carry On Loving, in which she played Sophie Bliss, released in September that year. [13], At the outbreak of the Second World War Jacques became a nurse in the VAD; she served in a mobile unit in London, attending bombed sites during the Blitz. . Although Jacques wanted the series to be full of suspense, the programmes were more comedic and she was disappointed with the results. and the offer was raised accordingly. Save up to 50% on Maternity Clothing when you shop now. Find the best deals on Small Appliances from your favorite brands. Hattie Jacques had a talent for larger-than-life comedy, but her weight may have contributed to numerous ailments. She later said her war hero had been killed in the Ardennes, but research disclosed that Major Charles Kearney, who already had a wife and children when he was asking Jacques to marry him, lived on in Massachusetts until 1984. Eric Sykes. A keen fisherman and sailor, he moved from Hertfordshire to Brixham, in Devon, where he had holidayed with first wife Brenda when they were courting. For all her apparent confidence and charm, there was one man who broke Hatties heart a toyboy who callously rejected her, throwing her into despair. She braved the Blitz for trysts with an American soldier who made the earth move. (BBC) The pinnacle of embarrassment came when the pair appeared on This Is Your Life in 1963 - Le Mesurier. Shop the best selection of deals on Laptops now. I knew better. He allegedly also became violent towards Hattie although he never hurt his first wife. Though, in the words of the producer Ernest Maxin, a wonderfully sexy comedienne, in matters of the heart Jacquess life was not plain sailing. Hattie was filming The Bobo in Rome, with Peter Sellers and his wife Britt Ekland, leaving Schofield at home looking after the children. Find the best deals on Fragrance from your favorite brands. Shop our favorite Makeup finds at great prices. Robin and Kim took an immediate liking to this character who played football with them, took them on outings and was much more outgoing than their dad, who they adored but who was much less physically demonstrative, says Merriman. [27][40], Tommy Handley died suddenly on 9 January 1949; the BBC decided that he was "so much the keystone and embodiment of the actual performance" of ITMA, that they cancelled the show immediately. [27] In December that year, she joined the Young Vic Theatre Company and played Smeraldina in The King Stag. [2] Jacques' son Robin Le Mesurier later described Jones' performance as "(having) captured my mother perfectly".[3]. [110][k] Later that year she played minor roles in two films: Watch Your Stern, with many of the Carry On regulars, and School for Scoundrels, opposite Ian Carmichael. She was raised above an uncles pawnshop in Chelsea and dressed up in the unredeemed shawls and velvet cloaks. The play ran intermittently from 1976 to September 1979 at various places in the UK (including seasons at Torquay, Lincoln, Blackpool and Bournemouth; a UK national tour; and an international tour that included Hong Kong (February March 1977), Rhodesia (April May 1978), Canada (December 1978 January 1979) and South Africa (February March 1979). John Bell . Supported by Hattie financially she invested in many of his madcap schemes he was lured into the music world, trying his hand as a band manager. When you have a sick child, you handle it in different ways. 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[48], On 6 June 1950 Jacques was cast in the first episode of the weekly radio show Educating Archie as Agatha Dinglebody. She told Andrews: After shed done her training in the wards of Hammersmith Hospital, she became a mobile VAD and continued her work in the hospital and in the air-raid shelters and around the area. Find the best deals on Gear from your favorite brands. [51] After the show Sykes was introduced to Jacques backstage and thought that the meeting was "the beginning of a new flight" in his professional life. 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She concentrated on the script and its interpretation instead of winning easy laughs by playing 'the fattie'. [157], In 1976 Jacques appeared in a promotional advertising film for British Rail, which pitted her against racing driver Jackie Stewart in a race to London. Save up to 50% on Smart Home when you shop now. And another blow came when, in the same week as her two boys, aged 18 and 21, appeared in court charged with cannabis possession, she received official notification of the intention to appoint her as an OBE. An article in The Guardian by Mark Lawson mixed fiction with reality when he wrote that "standards of hygiene have slipped since Hattie Jacques ran NHS wards". [141] Although 1969 had been busy, 1970 was relatively quiet in terms of her professional output: apart from an episode of Catweazle,[142] she appeared alongside Willoughby Goddard in a six-episode series of Charley's Grants. [6] Robin Rochester Jaques, who attained the rank of flight lieutenant with the RAF, was a keen sportsman and became a semi-professional footballer. John Le Mesurier was married to his first wife, actress June Melville, when he began dating Hattie Jacques in 1947. The writer Susan Leckey described Jacques as "one of the best-loved British comedy stars",[181] while Jacques's obituarist in The Times observed that "she was invariably successful" at making people "laugh with, rather than at you". When she performed in a minstrel show, a member of the backstage staff compared the blacked-up Josephine to Hattie McDaniels role in Gone With The Wind, and the new moniker stuck. [176] She was played by Ruth Jones, who Robin Le Mesurier thought "had captured my mother perfectly". 'Schofield was earthy, sexy and rough and made her feel young again., The atmosphere was heavy to say the least. . However, in 1963, after a charity fund raiser for leukaemia, Hattie meets the young and handsome John Schofield, whose son died of the disease. Find out more, The latest offers and discount codes from popular brands on Telegraph Voucher Codes, Hattie Jacques practicing the American craze of 'jumpology' in 1959, Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier in 1961, Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques in Carry On Camping, 1969, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Hattie ended the marriage in 1965 but John who by that time had proposed to his third wife, family friend Joan allowed her to blame his infidelity so as not to harm her career. Carry On Loving: John Le Mesurier with Hattie Jacques before their divorce in 1965 But it was not to last. [107] Because of the success, Jacques and Sykes "became embedded in the public mind as a priceless comic partnership";[108] to capitalise, they released a comedy album entitled Eric and Hattie and Things!! [138] She continued her busy schedule with appearances in six films for 1969,[n] including another with Sellers, The Magic Christian. The play's writer, Nol Coward, felt that "finally someone had delivered a performance that wasn't overshadowed by Margaret Rutherford", who had originated the stage role in 1940 and played it in the 1945 film version. Ever the gentleman, he had admitted adultery with Joan to save Hatties reputation. Joan Le Mesurier said: Hattie was wonderful and uninhibited on stage but in her private life, it was as if she was holding something back all the time. But it would have been foolish not to know that this was different. Hattie Jacques : [coyly] I'd need six months' notice to squeeze my behind in there. She will be remembered, however, not only for her nagging shrews and bombastic scolds, but for all her incongruous flirting. In 1962, unbeknown to John, Hattie began a relationship with chauffeur John Schofield. It was Hattie to whom Schofield turned after the death of the four-year-old in May 1963. [24] While appearing at the Players' in 1946 she acquired the nickname "Hattie" after performing in the minstrel show Coal Black Mammies for Dixie. A chain smoker, she suffered from breathing difficulties, arthritis, high blood pressure and ulcerated legs. [145] In the same year she completed another series with Sykes, Sykes and a Big, Big Show, a music and sketch programme which had six episodes, broadcast between February and April. In 1943, Josephine become a welder in a north London factory, and at the same time, she became romantically involved with an American officer. John did the crossword every day, his widow said after placing a death notice in the newspaper, said a close friend. Jacques was initially intended for a major part in the film, but she was unable to commit to a longer role because of ill health. Pinterest. Cause of death: Heart attack. [45], In the early months of 1950 Chance of a Lifetime was released into British cinemas; it was a film in which Jacques "really made her mark", according to her biographer, Andy Merriman. Because a dressing room was arranged that avoided her needing to use stairs, Sykes accused her of receiving special treatment.