kids encyclopedia robot

Shirley Stelfox facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Shirley Stelfox
Shirley Rosemary Stelfox

(1941-04-11)11 April 1941
Died 7 December 2015(2015-12-07) (aged 74)
Nationality British
Occupation Actress
Years active 1954–2015
Spouse(s) Keith Edmundson (1962–1965)
Don Henderson (1979–1997; his death)
Children Helena, Helen, John James

Shirley Rosemary Stelfox (11 April 1941 – 7 December 2015) was an English actress, known for her portrayal of the character Edna Birch, a moralising busybody in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, and as Rose, the vampy sister of the snobby and overbearing Hyacinth Bucket in the first season of the comedy series Keeping Up Appearances.

Early life

Stelfox was born at Dukinfield, Cheshire, on 11 April 1941. She suffered from bilateral amblyopia, which left her short-sighted. She studied at RADA, where her classmates included Edward Fox, John Thaw, and Sarah Miles. She was playing in pantomimes at the Old Chapel, Dukinfield, and in productions during the years of her study the town's Lakes Road Secondary School.



After the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Stelfox started straight at the BBC in a play called The Case Before You in which she played a 15 year old arsonist - where the prompter did not respond to her long pauses. In December 1960, she appeared in her first episode of Coronation Street. She would later play many different characters in the world-famous soap opera, including, in 1983, running a dating agency in which one of her customers was the entrance cue for Jack Duckworth. In 1983, Stelfox appeared in an episode of Grange Hill appearing as a Secretary at the school. She was the first actress to play Hyacinth Bucket's randy sister Rose in the first series of Keeping Up Appearances, but was later replaced by Mary Millar. She appeared in several other well-known television series, including the successful Wicked Women, Making Out with Margi Clarke, Mrs Parkin in Heartbeat, - and Jean in Common as Muck, Juliet Bravo, Coronation Street, The Bill and Crossroads, and Inspector Morse, She played Jane Healy, Melanie Owen's mother, in an episode of EastEnders. She appeared in the short-lived series Albion Market. Stelfox had a long life in different soap operas, briefly appearing in Crossroads (as a police officer), Owen MD and Family Affairs. She had played in Brookside as Madge Richmond (1986–1987), where she depicted two-timed the widowed pensioner Ralph Hardwick (Ray Dunbobbin), and in 1999 she appeared in two episodes of EastEnders as Jane Healy. Among many others of one-off parts, she played as Alice Hobson in Hobson’s Choice (1967), Helen in Civvies (1992), Julie Clegg in Three Seven Eleven (1993–1994), Jean in Common as Muck (1994) and Mrs Nolan in Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married (1999–2000).

Film roles

Stelfox played the mother of Julie Walters and Victoria Wood in the TV film Pat and Margaret (1994). .....


On the West End stage, Stelfox played Sue Lawson in Not Now, Darling (Strand theatre, 1968) and Phoebe in Toad of Toad Hall (Duke of York's theatre, 1970). Stelfox portrayed a stand-up comedian in Stand Up Sweetie Pie, directed by June Brown, the stalwart of EastEnders, who must have come across each other on set; it premièred in 1993 at the Nottingham Playhouse, rather than in the West End. She played a role of spidery Regan in King Lear at the Ludlow Festival in 1972 and at the Connaught Theatre, played Lady Macbeth in 1973, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1978 and Yelena in Uncle Vanya in 1974.

Personal life

Stelfox was married to Keith Edmundson for three years. She had a daughter, Helena, from this marriage. She later married actor Don Henderson in 1979 and they were together until his death from throat cancer in 1997. They lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, where she helped bring up Henderson's two children from his first marriage. She moved to rural Nottinghamshire after Henderson's death.

Stelfox died on 7 December 2015, aged 74, four weeks after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.


Year Title Role Notes
1964-1994 Coronation Street Norma / Barmaid / Margot Sutcliffe / Shirley Henderson 10 episodes
1966 Pardon the Expression Sales Assistant Episode: "The Dinner Party"
1967 Who Is Sylvia? Episode: "A Pool of Blood and a Red Carnation"
1968 Corruption Girl at Party
1971-1972 Nearest and Dearest Det. Constable Gloria Simpkins / Clara Wilson 2 episodes
1971 Carry On at Your Convenience Bunny Girl Waitress
1972 Budgie The Barmaid Episode: "Our Story So Far..."
1973 Pathfinders Grete Episode: "Sweets from a Stranger"
1973 Crown Court Mrs. Catherine Barnes Episode: "Regina v Barnes: Whatever Happened to George Robins?: Part 3"
1980-1983 Juliet Bravo Mrs. Collis / Mavis 'Colette' Newby 2 episodes
1981 Play for Today Mrs. Smith Episode: "A Brush with Mr Porter on the Road to El Dorado"
1981 The Chinese Detective Arlene Episode: "Release"
1983 Grange Hill Secretary 1 episode
1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four ...
1984-1988 Bergerac Anna Ackerman / Pam Lewis 2 episodes
1984 Bootle Saddles Rita Henderson 6 episodes
1987 Brookside Madge Richmond 7 episodes
1987 Knights of God Beth Edwards 7 episodes
1987 Personal Services Shirley
1988 Inspector Morse Mrs. Kane Episode: "Last Bus to Woodstock"
1989–1991 Making Out Carol May 24 episodes
1990 Keeping Up Appearances Rose 6 episodes
1991-1999 The Bill Mrs. Fowler / Gill Gibson / Mrs. Larch / Mrs. Mitchell 4 episodes
1992 Heartbeat Mrs. Parkin Episode: "Fruits of the Earth"
1993–1994 Three Seven Eleven Julie Clegg 16 episodes
1994 Screen One Vera Episode: "Pat and Margaret"
1994–1997 Common As Muck Jean 5 episodes
1995 Harry's Mad Mrs. Turtle 6 episodes
1999–2000 Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married Mrs. Nolan 16 episodes
1999 EastEnders Jane Healy Episode: "New Year's Eve 1999": Part 1 and 2
2000–2015 Emmerdale Edna Birch 901 episodes, (final appearance)
2015 Butterflies & Diamonds Prison Facility Psychologist

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Shirley Stelfox para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Famous Hispanic activists
Rodolfo Gonzales
Ernesto Galarza
César Chávez
Oscar Zeta Acosta
kids search engine
Shirley Stelfox Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.