Edna Doré

Last updated 09 January 2020

Edna Doré (1921-2014)
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Edna Lily Doré (née Gorring)

Born: 1921
Died: Tuesday 1st April 2014 (age: 92)


Edna Doré is a British actress, born in Bromley (registered Q3 1921, parents Herbert Gorring and Lily L Watling). She is one of Britain's best known senior citizen actresses, known for her bit-part roles in situation comedies and for playing the character of Mo Butcher in the BBC soap opera EastEnders (1988-1990).

She played Maeve in the 2006 Doctor Who television story Fear Her..

She began her career as a chorus girl in ENSA, then spent twenty years in repertory theatre before becoming a member of the National Theatre for ten years. She turned to television acting in 1960 and subsequently had parts in many successful series, including Dixon of Dock GreenDoctor in the HouseThe Liver BirdsTerry and JuneTenkoZ Cars, and Open All Hours.

In 1988, she starred in Mike Leigh's award winning film High Hopes, for which she received the award for Best Supporting Player at the 1989 European Film Awards. Here, she played Mrs. Bender, who suffers from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

In 1988, she was cast in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders, where she played Mo Butcher, the battleaxe mother of Mike Reid's character, Frank Butcher. During her time in the show, she once again received wide acclaim for her portrayal of an elderly lady's descent into Alzheimer's disease. The story about the effect that Alzheimer's has on the sufferer's family had to be curtailed when Doré decided to leave the programme in 1990. The character was killed off at the end of 1992.[5]

In 1997 she played the role of Kath in the Gary Oldman award winning film Nil by Mouth. Other film credits include Tube Tales (1999), Weak at Denise (2001) and All or Nothing (2002).

In recent years she has had parts in many successful television shows including: Love Hurts (1992), A Year in Provence (1993), Casualty (1993;1997), Men Behaving Badly (1997), Peak Practice (2000), Holby City (2001), Time Gentlemen Please (2000-2002), The Bill (2002;2003 & 2006), Eyes Down (2003-2004), Murder in Mind (2003), My Family (2004), Hotel Babylon (2006) and Doctors (2006), among others. She also played the role of Maeve in the Doctor Who episode "Fear Her" in June 2006.

In September 2006 she appeared in the BBC2 comedy sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look and in April 2007 she appeared in a guest star role opposite David Jason in ITV's Diamond Geezer, playing the role of Violet.

On 24 December 2008 she appeared in the Christmas special of Gavin & Stacey as Edna, once again playing a character affected by dementia.

In February 2009 she held a small role in an episode of the new series of Minder on Five. She also played Grace in the Easter movie Skellig.

In January 2010 she appeared as Nin Gallagher in Channel 4's Shameless. That same year she appeared in Mike Leigh's film Another Year. In March 2011 she appeared in an episode of Midsomer Murders.