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Doncaster Features: Famous Doncastrian: Mary Millar
Actress Mary Millar (26 July 1936–10 November 1998) is best remembered for her role as Rose (the second one, from series two onwards) in BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances.
She was born Mary Wetton in Doncaster and went to school in Shirecliffe in Sheffield. Her first appearance on stage was at the Empire Theatre, Sheffield in August 1950, when she entertained with operatic items. After further stage work and tours, in December 1960 she went to New York to understudy Julie Andrews in Camelot.
She began her London West End career in 1962 with Cloris in Lock Up Your Daughters. However she gained acclaim for her role in Keeping Up Appearances as Rose #2, replacing Shirley Stelfox for Series 2 in 1991. Rose was a popular character in the sitcom, with a flair for drama and a fancy for married men. Millar remained with the series through its conclusion in 1995.
She appeared in the original Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera as Madame Giry for four years, and appeared at his Sydmonton Festival in Aspects of Love. She also appeared as Mrs Potts on the London cast album of Beauty and the Beast composed by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
She recorded her vocals for Beauty and the Beast shortly before she died of ovarian cancer in 1998 at the age of 62 in Brockley, London.
The following week an episode of Keeping Up Appearances was broadcast on BBC1 and dedicated to her.
Read more about her stage career here.
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