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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 7 February 1922Sandgate, Kent, England, UK
Date of Death 6 October 1980Kensington, London, England, UK  (heart attack)
Birth NameJosephine Edwina Jacques
Nickname Mother Superior
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Best known for playing Matron - as in "ooh, Matron!" - in four films: Carry on Nurse (1959), Carry on Doctor (1968), Carry on Again Doctor (1969) and, of course Carry on Matron (1972). Key roles included: Grace Short in Carry on Teacher (1959), Sophie Bliss in Carry on Loving (1970) and Peggy Hawkins in Carry on Cabby (1963). She was married to John Le Mesurier (Sergeant Wilson in Dad's Army (1968)), but left him for another man. They divorced but remained friends. An unexpectedly attractive woman in her time, she played parts which depended upon and mocked her weight. Only in Carry on Cabby (1963) was she allowed to escape her dragon persona and play the romantic lead opposite Sidney James. She died prematurely at the age of 58 from a heart attack.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Joolz

Prior to entering show business, she worked as a Red Cross nurse and as a welder. She did an audition at the Players Theatre on a Friday, on the Monday she was a professional entertainer singing Marie Lloyd songs. She got the name Hattie while at the Players when as part of her act she sang a negro song. This was just after the film Gone with the Wind (1939), which featured the well-built black actress Hattie McDaniel, had been released. She considered the three big points in her career were: being taken on by the Players Theatre; joining the programme ITMA and working with Tommy Handley; and doing the radio series Educating Archie where she met Eric Sykes who wrote the scripts.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: tonyman 5

Spouse (1)

John Le Mesurier (10 November 1949 - 31 August 1965) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (12)

Two sons with actor John Le Mesurier: Robin Le Mesurier (born 22 March 1953) and Kim Le Mesurier (born 12 October 1956). Kim died of an accidental drug overdose on 6 October 1991, exactly 11 years after his mother's death.
Being most famous for her matron characters it is interesting to note that she actually was a Red Cross nurse during the Second World War.
Last name was pronounced as "Jakes" rather than the French "Jacques" ("zhack").
Fellow "Carry On..." team members gave her the nickname of 'Mother Superior' on the set of the films. This was due to her compassionate nature and willingness to help other cast members with their personal problems.
She allegedly declined an O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1970s for her services to drama.
Attended The Godolphin and Latymer School in Hammersmith, London on a scholarship.
She worked as an arc-welder during World War II. She was able to use this skill when she played Alice, a welder, in Chance of a Lifetime (1950).
A memorial service was held for her at St. Paul's, Covent Garden (commonly known as the Actors' Church) on 10 November 1980.
Frequently played matron in the Carry On films.
Daughter of Robin Rochester Jacques (1897-1923) and Mary Jacques (née Thorn) (1899-1980).
Is portrayed by Ruth Jones in Hattie (2011).
Smoked more than 60 cigarettes a day, which contributed to breathing problems in her later years.

Salary (13)

Carry on Sergeant (1958) £150
Carry on Nurse (1959) £250
Carry on Teacher (1959) £700
Carry on Constable (1960) £375
Carry on Regardless (1961) £100
Carry on Cabby (1963) £4,500
Carry on Camping (1969) £3,000
Carry on Again Doctor (1969) £3,000
Carry on Loving (1970) £3,000
Carry on at Your Convenience (1971) £2,000
Carry on Matron (1972) £2,500
Carry on Abroad (1972) £500
Carry on Dick (1974) £2,000

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