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Maureen Lipman

Maureen Lipman

May. 10th, 1946
Born in
Hull, Yorkshire, England, UK
5' 7

Maureen Lipman's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
He Kills Coppers (UK) TV Show
He Kills Coppers (UK)
Grumpy Old Women (UK) TV Show
Grumpy Old Women (UK)
Ladies of Letters (UK) TV Show
Ladies of Letters (UK)
Agony (UK) TV Show
Agony (UK)
The Fugitives (UK) TV Show
The Fugitives (UK)
This Week (UK) TV Show
This Week (UK)
Agony Again (UK) TV Show
Agony Again (UK)
A Soft Touch (UK) TV Show
A Soft Touch (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Maureen Diane Lipman CBE (born 10 May 1946) is a British film, theatre and television actress, columnist, and comedienne.

Early life
Lipman was born in Kingston upon Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, the daughter of Maurice Julius Lipman and Zelma Pearlman.Her father was a tailor;he used to have a shop between the Ferens Art Gallery and Monument Bridge.She attended Newland High School for Girls in Kingston upon Hull and was encouraged into an acting career by her mother,who used to take her to the pantomime and push her onto the stage.Lipman trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Lipman worked extensively in the theatre following her début in a stage production of The Knack at the Palace Theatre, Watford. In order to get the post she pretended that a documentary producer wanted to follow her finding her first job-this was a lie but it seemed to work.She was a member of Laurence Olivier's Royal National Theatre Company at the Old Vic. She made an early film appearance in Up the Junction. After early appearances in the sitcoms The Lovers, and Doctor at Large, Lipman first gained prominence on television in the 1979 situation comedy Agony, in which she played an agony aunt with a troubled private life. She played the lead role in the television series All at No 20 and took on a range of diverse characters when starring in the series About Face. She is well-known for playing Joyce Grenfell in the biographical show Re: Joyce!, which she co-wrote with James Roose-Evans, and another memorable character Beatrice Bellman (Beatie/BT), a Jewish grandmother in a series of television commercials for British Telecom. She has continued to work in the theatre for over thirty years, playing, amongst other roles, Aunt Eller in the National Theatre's Oklahoma! with Hugh Jackman.
Lipman as "The Wire" in Doctor Who
In 2006 Lipman played Maggie Wych in the children's television show 'The Fugitives.'
In 2002, she played snooty landlady Lillian Spencer in Coronation Street, and the titular character's mother in Roman Polanski's award-winning film The Pianist. More recently, she has narrated two television series on the subject of design, one for UKTV about Art Deco and one about 20th century design for ITV/Sky Travel. In 2003 she appeared in Jonathan Creek in the episode "The Tailor's Dummy".
She also wrote a monthly column for Good Housekeeping magazine for over ten years, which spawned several biographical books, including "How Was It For You?", "Something To Fall Back On", "Thank You For Having Me", "You Can Read Me Like A Book" and "Lip Reading". More recently, Lipman penned a weekly column in The Guardian in the newspaper's G2 section. She performed as a villain in the 2006 series of Doctor Who in the episode entitled "The Idiot's Lantern" as The Wire. Until 29 April 2006 she played Florence Foster Jenkins in the Olivier Award nominated show Glorious! at the Duchess Theatre in London's West End.
After her playwright husband's death in May 2004 she completed his autobiography By Jack Rosenthal, and played herself in her daughter's four-part adaptation of the book, Jack Rosenthal's Last Act on BBC Radio Four in July 2006. She has created several volumes of autobiography from her Good Housekeeping columns and recently published The Gibbon's In Decline But The Horse Is Stable, a book of animal poems which is illustrated by established cartoonists including Posy Simmonds and Gerald Scarfe, to raise money for Myeloma UK, to combat the cancer to which she lost her husband.
She has also appeared a few times on Just a Minute, The News Quiz, That Reminds Me, This Week and Have I Got News For You. In 2007, Lipman appeared as a celebrity contestant on Comic Relief Does The Apprentice to raise money for Comic Relief. The show saw her helping to run a fun fair. Later in 2007, she made a guest appearance in Casualty. In May 2008 she appeared in the BBC documentary series Comedy Map of Britain. She currently writes for The Oldie. On Sunday 11 January 2009 BBC Four was devoted to a "Maureen Lipman Night". On 5 February 2009, she appeared in the third series of teen drama Skins, in the episode entitled "Thomas" as Pandora Moon's Aunt Elizabeth.
She appeared twice on The Paul O'Grady Show during its run, once alongside Julie Walters to promote her most-recent book Past-It Notes, the other to speak about her appearance as the wheelchair-bound Madame Armfeldt in the Sondheim musical A Little Night Music, showing at the Menier Chocolate Factory. In both of these appearances, she also spoke briefly about her role as Irene Spencer in the ITV3 comedy Ladies of Letters, in which she leads alongside Anne Reid. The show's first series started in 2009, and returned for a second series in 2010, shown divided into two five-week stints.

  • She was nominated for a 2004 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical of 2003 for her performance in "Thoroughly Modern Millie", performed at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
  • Her show, "Live and Kidding", performed at the Duchess Theatre, was nominated for a 1998 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Theatre Award for Best Entertainment of the 1997 season.
  • She was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the British Empire) in the 1999 Queen's New Years Honors List for her services to drama. Her husband, 'Jack Rosenthal' (qv), received a C.B.E. (Commander of the British Empire) in 1993.
  • She was awarded the 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Theatre Award or Best Comedy Performance in 1985 (1984 season) for "See How They Run".
  • Children: 'Adam Rosenthal (I)' (qv) and 'Amy Rosenthal (I)' (qv).
  • Maureen Lipman was born on 10th May 1946 in Hull, Yorkshire, England. Her father was a Jewish tailor and she was pressed into acting by her mother Zelma, who used to take Maureen to the pantomime and push her onto the stage. She studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and made her acting debut in "The Knack" in 1969. Since then, she has appeared in a number of West End productions, including "See How They Run" (1984); "Candide"; "Lost in Yonkers" and her one-woman show "Re Joyce" - her homage to her heroine 'Joyce Grenfell' (qv). In 28 years in the profession, Maureen has only been out of work for four months - and that was when she needed major surgery to remove a tumor at the top of her spine, which was threatening to paralyze her. To many people, Maureen Lipman is "Beattie" from the British Telecom advertisements which won her an award for "You got an Ology?" but, in reality, she has done so much more.

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