Dora Bryan

Biography

Dora Bryan OBE (born Dora Mary Broadbent on February 7, 1924) is a British actress, a household name with a huge list of films to her credit. She was born in Southport, Lancashire, UK, and has a distinctive speaking voice which has become a trademark of her film and television performances. Her father was a salesman and she attended Hathershaw Council School, Oldham. Her career began in pantomime before the Second World War, during which she joined the ENSA in Italy to entertain British troops in that theatre of the conflict. She became a regular performer in the West End of London following the war, where she became a star of theatrical revues. She soon followed many of her theatre contemporaries by moving into film acting, generally playing supporting roles. She often played women of easy virtue — for example in Ealing's The Blue Lamp (1950) and The Fallen Idol (1948), one of her earliest films. She appeared in similarly stereotypical female roles in other films, for example The Cockleshell Heroes (1955), Carry On Sergeant (1958) and The Green Man (1956), and A Taste of Honey (1961). She played a "dodgy" head mistress in The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery (1966). She appeared in a cameo role in 1955 on the BBC radio series Hancock's Half Hour, episode titled 'Cinderella Hancock'. Dora had a top twenty hit in 1963, All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle. In 1971, Bryan appeared in the West End production of the Kander and Ebb musical 70, Girls, 70, then took a break from acting to raise children, although she made a public service TV advertisement for children's safety during this period. Since the early 1980s she has once again been very active. In 2004 she joined the cast of the long-running BBC comedy series Last of the Summer Wine as Aunt Roz. Her most recent film appearance was in MirrorMask (2005). In September 2006 she was due to tour in the comedy There's No Place Like a Home but withdrew early in the tour due to ill health. Her autobiography According To Dora was published in 1987 and has since been updated and republished. In 1996, she was awarded the O.B.E. in recognition of her services to acting and she was awarded a Laurence Olivier Award in 1996 for her role in the West End theatre production of Harold Pinter play, The Birthday Party. She has been married to Bill Lawton since 1954, and is the mother of 3 children; she has been living in Brighton for over 30 years. She owned the Clarges Hotel in Brighton when it was used in on-location exterior shots for the comedy film Carry On Girls.

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Known For
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MirrorMask

Aunt Nan

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A Taste of Honey

Helen

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The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery

Amber Spottiswood

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Carry On Sergeant

Norah

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Cockleshell Heroes

Myrtie

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Apartment Zero

Margaret McKinney

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High Treason

Mrs. Bowers

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Two A Penny

Ruby Hopkins

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That Swinging City

Mrs De Vere

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Vampire over London

Tilly

Starring In
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MirrorMask

Aunt Nan

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An Angel for May

Evelyn

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Absolutely Fabulous - White Box

Dolly / ... (2 episodes, 1996-2001)

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Apartment Zero

Margaret McKinney

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Screamtime

Emma

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Up the Front

Cora Crumpington

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Hands of the Ripper

Mrs. Golding

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Two A Penny

Ruby Hopkins

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That Swinging City

Mrs De Vere

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The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery

Amber Spottiswood

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A Taste of Honey

Helen

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Desert Mice

Gay

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Carry On Sergeant

Norah

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Child in the House

Cassie

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The Green Man

Lily

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The Young Lovers

Switchboard Operator (uncredited)

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Shop Spoiled

Customer

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Mad About Men

Berengaria

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Cockleshell Heroes

Myrtie

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The Intruder

Dora Bee

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The Fake

Barmaid

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Both Sides of the Law

Prostitute at Police Station

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The Ringer

Mrs. Hackett

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Whispering Smith vs. Scotland Yard

La Fosse

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Women of Twilight

Olga

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Glory at Sea

Glad Flanagan

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Vampire over London

Tilly

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High Treason

Mrs. Bowers

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No Highway in the Sky

Rosie, Barmaid (uncredited)

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Circle of Danger

Bubbles Fitzgerald

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The Blue Lamp

Maisie

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The Perfect Woman

Model in shop

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Adam and Evalyn

Blonde Sales Assistant (uncredited)

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The Interrupted Journey

Waitress

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The Fallen Idol

Rose

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No Room at the Inn

Spiv's Girlfriend (uncredited)

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Odd Man Out

Girl in Telephone Kiosk (uncredited)

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