Open All Hours actor Lynda Baron dies aged 82

<span>Photograph: Ian West/PA</span>
Photograph: Ian West/PA

Baron appeared in numerous TV and stage shows, but was best known for her role in the BBC sitcom

Actor Lynda Baron has died at the age of 82. In a career spanning multiple decades, the Bafta-nominated star was best known for playing Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in Open All Hours alongside Sir David Jason and Ronnie Barker.

A statement to PA from her agent of nearly 30 years, Donna French, said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved client Lynda Baron … we have lost a leading light of our world. We extend our deepest condolences to her daughter Sarah, her son Morgan and all her family.”

Baron reprised her role as Nurse Gladys in the sitcom’s 2013 sequel Still Open All Hours. One of her co-stars, Sally Lindsay, paid tribute: “I loved Lynda Baron. She was funny and clever and a joy to work with, and she once gifted me a pair of beautiful red shoes. This has made me very sad. RIP Lynda darling x”

Lynda Baron as Nurse Gladys in Open All Hours, alongside David Jason and Ronnie Barker.
Lynda Baron as Nurse Gladys in Open All Hours, alongside David Jason and Ronnie Barker. Photograph: PA

Baron was also known for her regular role in the 1990s BBC children’s programme Come Outside which saw her and her dog Pippin take adventures in a small multi-coloured polka dot plane.

She appeared in BBC soap EastEnders as Linda Clarke, the mother of Jane Beale, first appearing in 2006, then having a regular role between 2008 and 2009 – and reprising the role in 2016. She made appearances in shows including Doctor Who, Last of the Summer Wine and Dinnerladies, as well as ITV drama Fat Friends, about a slimming club.

In 2011, she was nominated for a Bafta for her role in BBC Four’s The Road to Coronation Street, a one-off drama about the early days of the soap. She played Violet Carson, who portrayed Ena Sharples in the long-running series.

Emmerdale actor Lisa Riley, who appeared as Baron’s daughter in Fat Friends, paid tribute via Twitter. “GOD BLESS YOU LYNDA REST IN PEACE. You played my mum for four wonderful, memorable years in Fat Friends … I learnt so much from you, but mostly we ALWAYS laughed together, your energy will live on FOREVER”

Baron’s film credits included 2020’s sports movie Dream Horse which starred Damian Lewis and Joanna Page, Woody Allen’s 2006 romantic crime drama Scoop and 2005’s Colour Me Kubrick. She also featured in the musical Follies in the West End and the stage version of In Celebration alongside Orlando Bloom.

Actor Stuart Antony also shared a photo alongside Baron and added: “Saddened to hear wonderful friend Lynda Baron has sadly passed away. She was the nicest person and what a legend. Here we are with Su Pollard just before lockdown – RIP Lynda Baron.”

The Gold TV channel, which regularly airs reruns of Open All Hours, tweeted: “We’re all deeply saddened by the passing of Lynda Baron who was well-loved as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in both Open All Hours and Still Open All Hours. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”