Margaret John born 15 December 1926 was a Welsh, BAFTA award-winning actress, best known for her role as Doris in Gavin and Stacey has died aged 84.
She was Born in Swansea, as a child she wanted to be a nurse or vet, but she could not stand the sight of blood. Spotted while acting in a chapel pagent competition, after an audition John trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, graduating in 1950.
John’s television roles included appearances on episodes of The First Lady, The Troubleshooters, Softly, Softly, The Mike Yarwood Show, Doomwatch, Blake’s 7, Secret Army, Lovejoy, My Family, High Hopes, The District Nurse, Casualty, and Doctors. On Radio 4, she appeared on Linda Smith’s A Brief History of Timewasting as Mrs Stone.
In a career that spanned more than fifty years, she appeared in such television programmes as Coronation Street, Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars, Doctor Who, Little Britain, Emmerdale, Last of the Summer Wine, Crossroads, Gavin and Stacey and The Mighty Boosh.
In the early 1980s, John enjoyed a long run on ITV’s daily soap opera Crossroads as doctors’ receptionist Marian Owen. But between 2007 and 2010, John achieved her greatest fame portraying the suggestive neighbour Doris, cannabis-smoking, raunchy and much given to toyboys, in the BBC comedy series Gavin & Stacey.
At the 18th BAFTA Cymru Film, Television and Interactive Media Awards on 17 May 2009, at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, in a ceremony hosted by Gethin Jones, John was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In September 2009, John appeared in the graphic short film Cow by director Peter Watkins Hughes warning of the dangers of texting while driving.
Also in 2009, John appeared in The Vagina Monologues, before which her last theatre production was in the 1980s in Medea at London’s Young Vic Theatre, opposite Eileen Atkins. John appeared on stage in Calendar Girls at the Wales Millennium Centre from 27 July to 7 August 2010 and at Venue Cymru, Llandudno from 9 to 14 August 2010, alongside fellow Welsh actress Ruth Madoc, playing Lady Cravenshire, the judge of the WI’s cake competition. She also starred in the 2009 low-budget film A Bit of Tom Jones?, a bawdy farce about the Welsh singer’s penis.
John died in the early hours of this morning in a hospital in her home town of Swansea after a short illness.