FILMS
TELEVISION
1950 - 1959


Rita in a scene from Loneliness-1958

"War on Crime - Burn The Evidence" was Rita Webb'sTV debut going out live on Monday 7th August 1950 at 8:45pm. Rita played the part of a Landlady in one brief scene.
Her second TV appearance came a year later when she was cast as Mrs Bruce in "Casualty Ward" Rita clearly enjoyed the whole experience of working on TV and wrote to the producer Robert Barr "I love television, it's so exciting, if you could have seen me behind the flats' emoting all over the place, getting in the 'mood' before I came on, & trying to pretend that was really my husband on the trolley; Especially as my own husband is tall & rather handsome, so you see my best bit of acting was pretending the 'bloke' on the trolley was really my 'old man'! Still I enjoyed it all thoroughly, & working for you is always a pleasure"
A critic wrote of Rita's part in "I made News" "I would not have missed Rita Webb's delightful character cameo, which gave an all too brief sparkle to the half hour"

"Dixon of Dock Green" was another show she featured on several times the first in 1955, playing Mrs Cartwright in 'Dock Green Desperados' complaining about the neighbours
"I'm sick and tired of it, I turn my back one minute they're back the next. And you're never there when you're wanted. They see you coming and naturally, off they run. And now this dog. All over the garden. I know it's not much, but I try to take pride in it - and this blessed dog tears all round, breaking the plants, digging holes...it's wicked...I told my husband - if the police don't do anything this time I shall write to our M.P. yes, I've got the name the dog was with a boy named Bishop...dirty little street-rake if ever I saw one...lives in Tippets street...these people they keep dogs they can't afford...I don't suppose they've thought of buying a license...and all over my garden...all over it...this place is getting worse every year...every year...if my husband didn't work here we'd move out tomorrow, Bishop was the name, bishop, I wrote it down to make sure"

Another "Dixon Of Dock Green" featured Rita the following year, playing the same character in an episode called 'The Hero' in 3 short inserted scenes on the telephone, "it's an absolute scandal, I’ve phoned the station five times in the last fortnight and nothing, absolutely nothing is done, goodness knows we pay out enough in rates but when we want some service we get fobbed off with one excuse or another, unless something is done about these wretched dogs, I warn you"....
the next scene is shot in the hall of her house as she rings a friend to spread the gossip "Ethel is that you? I thought I ought to warn you, is your little girl home safe? Well, my dear it's this black man, haven't you heard? I got it direct from a woman, her little girl was walking home and..." the scene cuts to another and then back again to Rita, still on the phone
"It's obvious the man is a maniac, the police? my dear, don't make me laugh, goodness knows, I can never find a policeman when I want one, my garden is absolutely ruined and they do nothing but talk, I don't know what they do with their time. Yes of course, you ring your friend and tell her, she ought to be put on her guard...that's right...he was tall, well over six foot, with great rippling muscles, black face, great bulging eyes, warn her the man's a desperado...Yes dear...oh I felt it was my duty, bye dear"


A scene from "Scrooge" 1958
Rita appeared in a TV production of "Scrooge", as Scrooge (Basil Rathbone) looks through the window Rita is speaking with the pawn shop owner he says-"You mean to say, you took his bed curtains down to pawn, with his body lying there?" Rita dressed in rags and sitting down replies "Why not, if the old miser wanted ter keep his curtains after he was dead, why wasn't he more natural in his lifetime? If he had've been he might've had someone to look after him when he was struck by death. Instead of lying there gasping out his last breath all alone by himself"

" Rita's portrayal in the BBC's "Common Room" was noted by critic Phillip Purser "THIS COOK TO GOOD TO WASTE" "Massive, sly, vaguely socialist, Mrs Charnley, the school cook, loomed like the rock of Gibraltar over the first of Leo Lehman's new series, as played by Rita Webb this is easily the most monolithic character television has thrown up lately. The scene in which the headmaster, William Devlin implanted the notion that if only she would try to like the teachers, they would like her, was exquisitely done, slowly the great square face relented, then light of battle died in the little gimlet eyes, and sweet reasonableness stole in. Lehman knows his little enclosed school world so well, and sets it down in such expert little scenes, that one excuses him his invariably sunny ending. Welcome back to a jolly good series. But will Mrs Charneley bulk so large in succeeding episodes? presumably not. In which case she should be instantly leased to Jimmy Edwards Chiselbury school. She is too good to waste" Peter Black wrote in the Daily Mail "The cook Mrs Charneley had a powerful bias against school teachers as instruments of power and gave them of her worst, Mrs Hammer led the faction that tried to depose her, but was sabotaged by the headmaster, who was being well fed by Mrs Charneley on the quiet, and wished her to stay, I am bound to say that Rita Webb as fearful cook, the hostile dispenser of mince and wet cabbage, dominated this episode so much that it hard to imagine the rest of the series without her".
By the end of the 1950's Rita Webb was well on her way to becoming "The Best known-unknown in the business"



Rita gets a quick one-liner scene in Interpol Calling - 1959

50's TV LISTINGS

1950
War On Crime: No5-Burn The Evidence-07.08.50, BBC as Landlady
1951
Casualty Ward: To Save A Life-25.06.51, BBC, as Mrs Bruce
I Made News: Phantom Millions-16.11.51, BBC, as Landlady
1952
Kaleidoscope: No: 12 -28.03.52, BBC, Sketch
Dangerous Drugs-07.04.52, BBC, as Mrs Jones
The Sales Girl-23.05.52, BBC, as Customer 2, 10 & 12
The Three Hostages: Fields Of Eden -19.07.52, BBC, as Shopkeeper (Jewess)
The Dybbuk-21.10.52, BBC as An Old woman (Mother)
1953
The Pattern Of Marriage: For Better For Worse-22.05.53, BBC, as Mrs White
BBC Sunday Night Theatre: Crime and Punishment-29.11.53, BBC as Macha
BBC Sunday Night Theatre: Crime and Punishment-03.12.53, BBC as Macha
1954
In The Bag-31.07.54, BBC , as Mrs Bott
Can I Have A Lawyer-13.09.54, BBC as Old Woman
Fred Emney Enterprise-01.12.54, BBC Sketch
Scotland Yard: The Silent Witness- Oct5, Merton Park, as Green Grocer
1955
Dixon Of Dock Green: The Dock Green Desperado -30.07.55, BBC, as Mrs Cartwright
Fred Emney Enterprise-02.09.55, BBC Sketch
Our Marie (The Story Of Marie Lloyd, Queen Of Comedy)-21.12.55,BBC
1956
Fred Emney Enterprise-16.02.56, BBC Sketch
Fred Emney Enterprise-16.06.56?, BBC Sketch
Dixon Of Dock Green: The Hero-16.06.56, BBC, as Mrs Cartwright
My Wife's Sister-11.12.56 , Granada
The Count Of Monte Cristo: The Island-06.08.56, ATV, as The Fisherwoman
1957
Busman's Honeymoon-03.10.57, BBC as Mrs Ruddle,
The Dicky Valentine Show-1957, ARTV
The Tommy Cooper Show-1957, ARTV
The Hands-11.04.57, BBC, as Landlady
Variety Time-06.06.57, BBC
Sing For Your Supper-25.06.57, BBC
The Cruelty Man-20.06.57, BBC as Miss Pugh
Variety Incorporated-04.07.57, BBC
Big City-1950's, ARTV (after 1953 before 1958)
The Alan Young Show-1957
Scotland Yard: Bullet From The Past -Jan57 as Laundry Manageress

1958
Television World Theatre: The Cherry Orchard-05/01/58, BBC
The Ted Ray Show
-25.01.58, BBC
Loneliness-01.04.58, BBC, Mrs Gravely
A Date At Eight-09.08.58, BBC
Emergency Ward 10-05.09.58
BBC Sunday Night Theatre: Gracie-12.10.58, BBC, as George's Wife
BBC Sunday Night Theatre: Lower Depths-16.11.58, BBC, as Keshays
Call Me A Liar-22.04.58, BBC, as Landlady
Television Playhouse: Cornelius-18.07.58, as Mrs Robert, Granada
Fredric March PresentsTales From Dickens: A Christmas Carol-1958, as Charwoman. Towers Of London
1959
Body Found-26.02.59, BBC, as Mrs Parker
The Two Charlie's-06.05.59, BBC
The Common Room: Cabbage and Caviar-20.5.59, BBC, as Mrs Charnley
The Common Room: Future Inperfect-12.8.59, BBC as Mrs Charnley
The Men From Room Thirteen: The Man Who Made Keys:Part 2-23.11.59, BBC as Mrs Melrose
The Charlie Drake Show: An Affair Of The Heart-02.12.59, BBC
Break In Festivities-29.12.59, BBC, as Mrs Wells
Interpol Calling-1959, ATV/Rank