Dora Bryan, who has died aged 91, started out as a dancing and singing actress, making her first professional appearance at the age of 12 in Manchester with the 23 other girls of the Eileen Rogan Drury Lane Babes in Jack and the Beanstalk. She excelled as the plain-speaking young woman from the north, and the presence this gave her brought a wide range of work on stage and screen in the decades following the second world war.
Her basic stage personality bright, streetwise but unworldly was squeezed into Restoration comedy, the Hello Dolly! lead in the West End (twice), Jb Priestley's An Inspector Calls at the Chichester Festival theatre and Meg, the guesthouse keeper oblivious of the sexual and other power-play in Pinter's The Birthday Party at the National Theatre. In 2001 she contributed to the