Ruth Madoc dead: Hi-de-Hi!s ‘announcer’ and Little Britain actor dies, aged 79

Ruth Madoc, star of sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, has died, aged 79.

The news was confirmed by her agent days after the actor went to hospital for surgery following a fall earlier this week.

Phil Belfield, from talent agency Belfield & Ward Ltd, said: “It is with much sadness that we have to announce the death of our dear and much loved client Ruth Madoc.”

He hailed Madoc as “one of a kind and a unique talent loved by many”, and described her as a “real legend of the British entertainment scene”.

Madoc was best known for playing Gladys Pugh in the BBC comedy sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, for which she received a BAFTA TV award nomination for Best Light Entertainment Performance.

She appeared in the show, which was set in the fictional 50s-type holiday camp Maplins, from 1980 to 1988. More recently, she appeared in the Matt Lucas and David Walliams sitcom Little Britain, playing the mother of Lucas’s character Daffyd Thomas.

Her film credits included Norman Jewison’s 1972 version ofFiddler on the Roof, in which she played Fruma Sarah.

Ruth Madoc (PA)
Ruth Madoc (PA)

The actor was also a star of the stage, appearing in productions of Calendar Girls. After her fall, she was forced to pull out of panto.

At the time of her death, Madoc was preparing for a 2023 tour with a production of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Ruth Madoc has died, aged 79 (Shutterstock / Dave Smith 1965)
Ruth Madoc has died, aged 79 (Shutterstock / Dave Smith 1965)

Madoc was married twice. Her first marriage, to Philip Madoc, ended in divorce after 20 years. They had two children, a son named Rhys, and a daughter named Lowri.

One year later, in 1982, Madoc married John Jackson, who died in 2021.