FILMS

CLAIRE DAVENPORT
24th April 1933 - 25th Feb 2002



What can I begin to say about Claire Davenport? Her comedy double act as bossy wife to Dick Emery in "The Dick Emery Show" was just pure television gold, describing it as funny doesn’t begin to do it justice, the scenes always make me hound with laughter.
At times she was used all too briefly in films and on TV, but brief as some of the scenes were, she still managed to touch them with her magic, take the 1969 remake of Laughter In Paradise, "Some Will, Some Won’t" in the scene where the late great Michael Horden bumps into Claire on the stairs and decides to pinch her bottom in the hope of getting 28 days in jail, her delivery and facial expressions are top class and it stands out as one of the best scenes in the entire film.

She was one of the first Actressess to appear nude on TV in the 1968 BBC Theatre 625 play, "The Life Class" as model Mrs Bliss, Claire said in a an interview for Titbits "I wasn't a bit embarrassed, But the director was. He put a boil plaster over each of my nipples. I thought that was rather strange." she also appeared naked in such films as "The Birth Of The Beatles", "The Tempest" and "Adventures Of A Plumbers Mate" and as a scantly clad alien in "Return Of The Jedi", a fantasy stripper for a rather randy dwarf in "Intimate Games" and as the sexed crazed wife who cheats on her husband, but only likes doing it in the closet in the final Carry On film "Carry On Emanuelle".

She did some sterling work on TV as a straight actress in "Z Cars", "Angels" , "Freud", "Alice In Wonderland" (where we get to hear her sing!) and was a regular as the cook in the BBC drama "By The Sword Devided" but it is as a comedy actress she will be best remembered, her first Television appearance was as Myrtle in three episodes of the third and final series of the BBC smash hit "The Rag Trade" (sadly the third series does not exist) she livened up such shows as "Queenies Castle" giving Diana Dors a run for her money, playing the girlfriend of Di's sons (in matching dress!) in a couple of episodes of "Sez Les" as an aggressive German speaker and saucy next door neighbour, and a handful of episodes of the BBC sitcom "I Didn't Know You Cared" as the bossy wife of a timid husband, a couple of hilarious scenes in two episodes of "George and Mildred" , she even made basil brush squirm when she appeared on "The Basil Brish Show" and as a posh guest helping along the chaotic situation caused by Basil Fawlty in "Fawlty Towers"she gives John Cleese a run for his money.

F leeting appearances occurred in "Mind Your Language" as the German lady at the end of the episode, even briefer appearance as a belly dancer in "Love Thy Neighbour" and Nurse looking for accommodation in "Sink Or Swim" the most misused of any of her appearances occurs in the David Lynch film "The Elephant Man" to say the appearances is fleeting is putting it mildly! but she made up for all her underused moments when she appeared in “The Dick Emery Show" as I have already mentioned, to me it is pure TV gold, try not to laugh as Claire plays the bossy Northern wife to timid "Yes My Dear" husband played by Dick Emery, in every episode he tries ways to get rid of the battleaxe of a wife, he fails to feed her to the lions, crush her in a car and drown her in a dingy, after much humiliation as she ordered him to get her biscuits as she sat in a deck chair on the beach and when he returned with ginger nuts, there was hell to pay! For me this was her crowning glory, why she never got a show of her own is truly a mystery.

Her last appearances on TV are a fleeting appearance as a nurse in "The Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer" and as a lizard type alien in "Space vets" where it seems clear at this stage Claire was struggling health issues.

Claire Bernice Davenport was born on 24th April 1933 at 155 Sale Memorial Hospital, Charlton Drive, Sale, while her Father, Leslie Stuart Davenport (Insurance Brokers Clerk) and Mother , Hilda Madeline Davenport (formerly Goodyear) lived at Highfield, Dane Road, Sale, she had a younger brother who was born in 1936 named Warwick Ross Davenport.

As a young girl she dreamed of following in the footsteps of her Mother, who had won acclaim in amateur dramatics, but her father insisted she gain qualifications first.

In her mid 20s she had to give up the love of her life to a family friend confined to a bath chair, due to family pressures, her boyfriend died a few years later and it seems Claire never fully recovered from the ordeal.

After attending Lymme Grammar school, Claire became a secondary modern school teacher and trained at St Catherine's college, Liverpool. Her first teaching role was at St Cyprians a comprehensive in Salford. Outside of school hours she spent her evenings with Amateur companies, starting at The Garrick Playhouse and eventually left the teaching profession and enrolled at Rada in 1960, although she left the course before completion to appear in The Rag Trade tv series and stage production as Myrtle.

A Series of strokes in the nineties stopped her working, the Actor, turned MP and Gay Rights activist Michael Cashman, a close friend put a memoriam in the stage Newspaper for two consecutive years after she died and he had this to say about her from an obituary in The Daily Express . “She lived for her friends, acting and art. The fact she died at just 68 is tragic and the acting business is all the poorer for Claire not being around”.


Claire's first film appearance came in 1962 in a brief (non talking) scene in the Peggy Mount film "Ladies Who Do" and she had a career in show business that spanned for over 30 years.

Claire davenport died on 25th February 2002 at Hammersmith Hospital (her London address being 27 B, Royal Crescent, Holland Park)

If anyone reading this has any further information, please feel free to contact me at this email address:


ritawebb@ritawebb.co.uk



Please note this page isn't complete, I will be updating when I get the time, More information to follow.








Above 2003 & 2004 The Stage memoriam

SOME SCREEN GRABS OF CLAIRE'S MANY TV & FILM APPEARANCES

FILM
001
Ladies Who Do
1963
Woman in street
002
Some Will, Some Won't
1969
woman on stairs
003
Crossplot
1969
Wedding Guest
004
On The Buses
1971
Peggy
005
The Best Pair Of Legs In The Business
1972
Eating Lady
006
Return Of The Pink Panther
1974
Masseuse
007
Malachi's Cove
1974
?
008
Bawdy Adventures Of Tom Jones
1975
Mrs Bakewell
009
Intimate Games
1976
Fat Stripper
010
Rosie Dixon Night Nurse
1978
Mrs Buchanan
011
Jubilee
1978
First customs officer
012
Adventures Of A Plumber's Mate
1978
Belinda
013
Carry On Emmannuelle
1978
Blonde
014
The Tempest
1979
Sycorax
015
The Elephant Man
1980
Fat Lady in cage in Freak show
016
Star Wars:Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi-
1983
as Fat Dancer
017
Screamtime (Do You Believe In Fairies? segment)
1983
Mrs. Harlett (Uncredited)
018
Alice
1984
(unconfirmed)
019
War Requiem
1989
Charge Sister Britannia
020
Camping (Nordisk films Denmark)
1990
Gerda, English Camper
022
Stick With Me Kid (Disney)
1995
-
 


TELEVISON


The Rag Trade:The Australian-05.01.63, as Myrtle, BBC1
The Rag Trade:Triplets-12.01.63 as Myrtle, BBC1
The Rag Trade-26.01.63 as Myrtle, BBC1
Doctor Who: Marco Polo: The Roof Of The World-22.02.64, as Empress, BBC1
Crossroads-1964, as Miss Montgomery, ATV
Love Story: The Apprentice*-04.08.64
Gideon's Way;Morna (S1 ep22) 24.02.66 as Helen (Uncredited)
The Baron: Diplomatic Imunity-17.04.66, as Anna Lobovitch
Mike and Bernies Show-17.04.66, ABC
Ways With Words:Judgement-10.05.66 as Woman In Restaurant
Mike and Bernies Show-10.09.66, ABC
Mike and Bernies Show-17.09.66, ABC
George and the Dragon:Court Case 13.01.68, as Samantha, Granada
Playhouse: Rogues Gallery*-05.02.68, as Mrs Mosscrop
Theatre 625: The Life Class-27.05.68, as Mrs Bliss (Nude Model) BBC
Boy Meets Girl: The Enchanted Shore-15.11.68, as Nurse Vileski
Resurrection:Maslova-23.11.68 , BBC
Two Of A Kind-03.12.68
Armchair Theatre: What's A Mother For?-20.01.69 as Mrs Kapodis, Thanmes
The Wednesday Play: Last Train Through The Harecastle Tunnel-01.10.69, as Megs, BBC
Path Of The Weft-1970
W Somerset Maugham: Closed Shop-04.06.70, as Rosa, BBC
Other Reg Varney-09.08.70, LWT
Biography: I Measured The Skies-04.11.70, as Gretchen
Tales Of Piccadilly: Behind The Spearmint Sign*-10.01.71, as Maxine
Play For Today: The Largest Theatre In The World The Rainbirds-11.02.71, as Nurse, BBC
The Misfit: on Europe and Foreigners and Things-05.04.71 as Boris
Queenie's Castle: Ladykillers-10.06.71, as Glenda
Last Of The Baskets: For Richer For Poorer*-14.06.71, Alice Higgins
The Des O'Connor Show*-28.08.71, ATV
Keep It In The Family: Suit*-12.10.71, as Maisie
Casanova:Window, Window-07.12.71, as Madame Lenoir
Sez Les:s5 ep6-02.09.72 as Mrs Pearl Blundell in DIY sketch
Stage 2: Peer Gynt-26.09.72, BBC
Z Cars: Miller-15.02.73, as Big Peggy, BBC
Menace: Tom-26.04.73, as Barmaid
On The Buses: The Allowance-06.05.73, as Mrs Webb
On The Buses: Friends In High Places-13.05.73, as Mrs Webb
The Song Of Songs-24.05.73, Neighbour, BBC
Hey Brian:ep5*-12.06.73
Hey Brian:ep6*-16.06.73
Sez Les:s7 ep7-08.09.73 as German Speaker
Pollyanna-21.10.73, as Mrs Spencer
The Basil Brush Show-09.12.73 as Gloria Thin
Billy Liar: Billy and the Au Pair-28.12.73, as Ilsa
Shoulder To Shoulder: Christine Pankhurst-24.04.74, as Nurse Pine
Shoulder To Shoulder: Outrage-01.05.74, as Nurse Pine
Funny Ha Ha: Molly Wopsy-21.06.74, as Mrs Thompson
Z Cars: Old Bones-16.09.74, as Mrs Eccles, BBC
Churchill's People:Pritan-30.12.74 as Boudicicca
Love Thy Neighbour (s5 ep6)-06.02.75, as Fatima
My Son Reuben:A Matter Of Dispute-15.09.75 as Woman
I Didn't Know You Cared: After The Ball Was Over- (S1 EP4) 17.09.75, as Mrs Skelhorn
Fawlty Towers: The Germans-24.10.75, as Mrs Wilson, BBC
Don't Drink The Water: Neighbours-22.11.75, as Bertha Schmitt
Don't Drink The Water: Keeping Fit-06.12.75, as Bertha Schmitt
I Didn't Know You Cared: A Signal Disaster-(S2 EP4) 11.05.76, as Mrs Skelhorn
Couples-02.03.76, as Mrs Bagley
Couples-03.03.76, as Mrs Bagley
Couples-04.03.76, as Mrs Bagley
Couples-09.03.76, as Mrs Bagley
Couples-10.03.76, as Mrs Bagley
Couples-11.03.76, as Mrs Bagley
George and Mildred: And Women Must Weep-20.09.76, as Shop Assistant
The Dick Emery Show-05.10.76 as Bossy wife, beach sketch
The Dick Emery Show-12.10.76 as Bossy Wife, car Sketch
The Best Of Dick Emery-11.12.76
Robin's Nest: Oh Happy Day-22.02.77, as Fat Lady
Raffles: Home Affairs*-06.05.77, as Lady Rumbold
Drama:Six Characters In Search Of An Author By Pirandello-07.08.77 as Madame Pace
The Fuzz: Grand Old Team To Play For-15.09.77, as Mrs Bullock, ITV
1990: Voice From The Past-10.10.77, as Nurse, BBC
Odd Man Out: Ooh La La-08.12.77, as Woman
I Didn't Know You Cared: Party Games-(S3 EP3) 25.01.78, as Mrs Skelhorn, BBC
I Didn't Know You Cared: Stout Deeds
-(S3 EP5) 08.02.78, as Mrs Skelhorn, BBC
I Didn't Know You Cared: Last Tram-(S3 EP7) 22.02.78, as Mrs Skelhorn, BBC
Angels: Human Error-30.05.78, as Mrs Smith, BBC
George and Mildred: I Believe In Yesterday-21.09.78, as Gloria
The Losers:The Naming Of Parts-19.11.78 as Landlady, ATV
The Dick Emery Show-24.02.79 as Bossy wife, Insurance sketch, BBC
Birth Of The Beatles-23.11.79 as German Tourist
Mind Your Language: Repent At Leisure-01.12.79
The Dick Emery Show-12.01.80 as Bossy wife in circus sketch, BBC
The Best Of Dick Emery-30.03.80, BBC
Not The Nine O'Clock News-31.03.80, as Stout Lady in Pepsi Parody
The Nesbitts Are Coming: Another Town, Another Place-17.04.80, as Stripper
Dick Emery: Take 2-10.06.80
Our Little Town:The Amazons*-28.09.80
Kelly Monteith-04.11.80
The Dick Emery Show-31.01.81 as Bossy wife in Weekend away sketch
Frankie Howerd Strikes Again -1981
Sink Or Swim-22.10.81, as Nurse
3-2-1: New Year Special-02.01.82
Let There Be Love: Dad's The Word-18.01.82, as Heidi
Metal Mickey:Caveman Mickey-04.04.81 as Cavewoman
All For Love-1983
3-2-1: Arabian Nights-29.01.83
By The Sword Devided: Gather Ye Rosebuds - 16.10.83 as Mrs. Dumfry(The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: This War Without An Enemy - 23.10.83 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: The Sound Of Drums - 30.10.83 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: The Edge Of The Sword - 13.11.83 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Ring Of Fire - 04.12.83 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Ashes To Ashes - 11.12.83 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Not Peace, But A Sword - 18.12.83 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Conflicts - 06.01.85 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Cromwell At Arnescote - 20.01.85 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Witch Hunt - 27.01.85 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Escape - 03.02.85 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Fateful Days 10.02.85 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Forlorn Hope 17.02.85 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Retribution - 03.03.85 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
By The Sword Devided: Restoration - 10.03.85 as Mrs. Dumfry (The Cook) , BBC
Freud-05.10.84, as Teresa, BBC
Freud-19.10.84, as Teresa, BBC
Remington Steele: Steel Searching part1-24.09.85, as Hilda Lake(The Char) MTM production
Minder: From Fulham With Love-02.10.85, as Nigel's Mum
In Sickness And In Health-08.09.85, as toilet attendant, BBC
Alice In Wonderland:Ep2-12.01.86, as Duchess, BBC
Alice In Wonderland:Ep3-19.01.86, as Duchess, BBC
Valentine Park: Rose By Any Other Name-12.08.88, as Mayoress, Central
Valentine Park: Swarm!-26.08.88, as Mayoress, Central
The Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer:Fog S1 Ep6 -26/10/93, BBC
Flush-10/04/94 (Short) as Nursey
Spacevets:Too Close For comfort-25.10.94 as Daphne the lizard, BBC

COMMERCIALS

Tinned Milk-Evil Nurse
Deodrant-Russian Olympic Athlete


THEATRE
Rep-The Phoenex Theatre, Leicester
A Search For Comets
-1956 (Stage 080356) - Whitworth Theatre
The Hollow
-1962 (Stage 020862 )- Vanbrugh 1 - Opened 230762, Manchester
Dandy Dick-
Vanbrugh Theatre-1962 (The Times review 30.10.62) as Georgina Tidman
The Rag Trade
-1963 Piccadilly Theatre
The Matchmaker
-1963 (Stage 190963) -Phoenix Theatre Leicester - Opened 081063
The Hostess-
(spot 1964) as Mrs Dillon
She Stoops To Conquer
(spot 1964) as Mrs Hardcastle
Hayfever
(Spot 1964) as Clara
Major Barbara
(spot 1964) as Rummy Hitchings
Momento Mori
-1964 (Stage 300464) -Nottingham Playhouse - Opened 130564
Ivanov By Chekhov
-1965 (Stage 130565) -Vanbrugh Theatre Club - Opened 080565
Collapse Of Stout Party
-Nottingham Playhouse-1965 (The Times review 11.02.65) as Grace
Plunder
-Leatherhead Theatre-1965 (The Times review 20.04.65)
A Christmas Carol-
1966 - (Stage 060166) -Royal Stratford E15- Opened 271265
Hotel Paradiso
-1966 (Stage 140766) - Marlowe Canterbury
Hedda Gabler-1966
- (Stage 061066)- Royal Bristol
When We Are Married
-1970 (Stage 030970)- Yvonne Arnaud Guildford - (With Peggy Mount)
Alice In Wonderland
-Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford-1970 (The Times review 28.12.70) as Duchess
Cranford
-Theatre Royal, Stratford East-1975 (The Times review 12.11.75)
Six Characters In Search Of An Author -1979 (Stage 280679)- Greenwich Theatre - Opened 280679
Frozen Assets
- 1979 (Stage 200979)- Queens Theatre Company
Ubu -1980
(Stage 100480)- Jeannetta Cochran - Put On By Open Space
A Flea In Her Ear
- 1980 (Stage 050680)- Leatherhead - To 210680
Volpone
- 1981 (Stage 140581)- Croydon Warehouse

SPOTLIGHT ADVERTS
Spring 1964