From LOTSW, Liz Fraser

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of October 8, 2018

Tea Time Tidbit

Fraser with a four-legged friend

When a television series runs for over 30 years, chances are it has many memorable episodes. When the series is the brilliantly written Last of the Summer Wine, the number of unforgettable episodes are countless. There are, however, two episodes in LOTSW that fans of the series will undoubtedly never forget. Both center around the death of Compo, played by the remarkable Bill Owen, who had sadly and unexpectedly passed away the previous year, just days after filming a special episode to commemorate the millennium.

In "Surprise at Throstlenest" we discover that Compo’s weekly "Thursday" get together with his friend "Reggie Unsworth" is not what we might have assumed. “Reggie” turns out to be a woman – Regina being her full name.

Tea Time Tidbit

“Reggie” paying her last respects to “Compo”

“Reggie” appears again in the deeply moving episode "Just A Small Funeral." She has come to the church to pay her last respects to Compo. The church used to film that episode - St. John’s Parrish Church, in Upperthong near Holmfirth – is the same church that Bill Owen chose to have his own funeral service.

Those were the only two episodes in which Liz Fraser, the actress who played the attractive, long-legged blonde “Reggie”, appeared, but they are both unforgettable. Sadly Fraser now joins the ranks of LOTSW cast members who are no longer with us, as she passed away at the age of 88 on September 6th, following complications from surgery.

Tea Time Tidbit

As a Carry On girl

Fraser, whose friendship with Bill Owen dated back to the early 1960s, when they both appeared in the immensely popular Carry On film series, was one of the UK’s most familiar comedic actresses. Although best known for her portrayal of ditzy buxom blondes, as she got older, Fraser developed into an excellent character actress with appearances in such series as Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

 

Tea Time Tidbit

In Midsomer Murders

 

Fraser began life upstairs above a corner shop, which was run by her widowed mother, her father having died at the age of 40, when Fraser was just 11 years old. While attending drama school in the evenings, she supported herself with temporary secretarial jobs, before she embarked on what would become a 60 year long acting career. Despite her age, Fraser seemed in no rush to retire. She was 70 when she appeared in LOTSW, but her last television appearance wasn’t until a year ago, when she appeared in the aptly titled Midsomer Murders episode, Till Death Do Us Part.

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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