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This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (July 2010) Jean Alexander Born 24 February 1926 (1926-02-24) (age 85) Toxteth, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom Occupation Actress Years active 1949–present Jean Alexander (born 24 February 1926) is a BAFTA Nominated English television actress. She is best known to British television viewers as Hilda Ogden on the soap opera Coronation Street, a role she played from 1964–1987 and also as Auntie Wainwright on the longest running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine from 1988 to 2010. Contents 1 Biography 2 Awards And Nominations 2.1 Hilda Ogden 2.2 After Coronation Street 3 Television roles 3.1 Drama 3.2 Comedy 3.3 Other 4 References 5 External links Biography Although she aspired to become an actress, for five years Alexander worked as a library assistant in Liverpool, before she began her acting career in 1949 at the Adelphi Guild Theatre in Macclesfield, and later in repertory companies in Oldham, Stockport and York. During this time she worked as an actress, wardrobe mistress and stage manager. Her television debut was in the hit television police series Z-Cars. She first appeared in Coronation Street in 1961 as landlady Mrs Webb. Awards And Nominations 1987 - BAFTA Television Award - Best Actress(Nominated) 1987 - RTS Award - Best Actress(Won) Hilda Ogden Three years later, Alexander returned to Coronation Street as Hilda Ogden. She started playing the role in May 1964, finally retiring in December 1987. Her dialect speech incorporating phrases such as "nowt" or "eh, chuck" resonated with the programme's viewers. On the 40 Years on Coronation Street special, she recounted an incident years ago: while she was shopping, a fan asked if she were Hilda. She responded in her normal accent, "I beg your pardon?" Taken aback, the fan said, "Oh, don't you talk funny!" In 1984, hundreds of fans sent her condolence cards after the death of her on-screen husband Stan, played by Bernard Youens, who had died shortly before his character was killed off. In 1985 she received the Royal Television Society Award for her performance on Coronation Street. Laurence Olivier formed the Hilda Ogden Appreciation Society with prominent members. When she decided to leave the programme in 1987, fans started "Save Hilda!" campaigns; however, many did not realise that she had made her own decision to depart. Her final scenes in the programme were aired on 25 December 1987, attracting more than twenty million viewers. Reports in February 2010 say that there are plans for Hilda Ogden to feature in the show's 50th anniversary episodes in December 2010.[1][2] Producers offered Jean a large sum of money to return to Coronation Street but she turned them down. After Coronation Street In 1988, Alexander made a guest appearance in the long-running BBC comedy series Last of the Summer Wine as Auntie Wainwright, the money-grabbing local junk shop owner. Her appearance was so popular she returned for a second guest appearance in 1989. In 1992 she became a regular on the series, a role she continued to play until the end of the series in 2010. Alexander also appeared in Boon and the children's series The Phoenix and the Carpet as Lily. She starred with Patricia Hodge and Lionel Jeffries in the comedy series Rich Tea and Sympathy and appeared in the quiz show Cluedo. More recently she appeared in Barbara, Heartbeat, Where the Heart Is and The Afternoon Play. Her film credits include Scandal (1989) and Willie's War (1994). In 2005, the UK TV Times poll voted her as the "Greatest Soap Opera Star of All Time." Her autobiography, The Other Side of the Street: The Autobiography of Jean Alexander, was published in 1989. Jean Alexander has never married and lives alone in Southport. In 2009, Alexander joined with others to campaign (eventually successfully) for a temporary library in Southport while the central library was being refurbished. On 6 December 2010, Alexander spoke by telephone to ITV's This Morning to discuss her time on Coronation Street on the day of the 50th anniversary episode of the latter drama. Television roles Drama Year Title Role 1961 Deadline Midnight 1961 1964–1987 Coronation Street Mrs Webb Hilda Ogden 1993–1995 Harry Irene Paterson Comedy Year Title Role 1988, 1989 1992–2010 Last of the Summer Wine Auntie Wainwright 1991 Rich Tea and Sympathy Granny Trellis 1993 I, Lovett Elsie Mittens 2002 Barbara Queenie Other Year Title Role 1993 Cluedo (game show) Marjory Hunt 2001 Heartbeat Peggy Barton References ^ ^ External links Jean Alexander at the Internet Movie Database Persondata Name Alexander, Jean Alternative names Short description Date of birth 24 February 1926 Place of birth Toxteth, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom Date of death Place of death