Page last updated at 08:38 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 09:38 UK

Mollie Sugden: Your memories

Mollie Sugden

Actress Mollie Sugden has died at the age of 86. The TV star, best known for playing Mrs Slocombe in long-running BBC sitcom Are You Being Served?, died at the Royal Surrey Hospital after a long illness.

Over 600 people from around the world contacted the BBC news website to share their memories of the actress. Here are some of your comments.


My late father sat next to Mollie on a flight from Heathrow in the seventies and cringingly said to Mollie as the cabin crew came round with drinks "Are you being served?". Luckily Mollie laughed and playfully hit him on the head with the in-flight magazine which made his day. We will sorely miss Mollie.
John Maynard, Maidenhead, Berkshire

Mollie Sugden was the consummate comedy actress. When I first discovered Are You Being Served? in the late seventies she immediately became my favourite as Mrs Betty Slocombe. As a chronic pain sufferer, I found that a good dose of Mollie Sugden on a daily basis brought me up out of myself and helped make my days and nights a little brighter. I wrote to her, not expecting a reply, to let her know how much her performances meant to me and was delighted to receive a handwritten letter. She will live on in my heart in a very special way.
Karen Kenehan, Streamwood IL

Mollie Sugden

What a great talent for perfect timing with that haughty air of camp comedy. Whenever Mollie was on screen you warmed to her every time even when she was playing the bitch! I remember her in the Liver Birds as the snobbish mother where she was brilliant with a cutting one liner. My favourite was always Are You Being Served?. The best episode for me was Mrs Slocombe the Senior Person; the tea and meringue scene an absolute classic! God Bless you Mollie and thank you for sharing your gift with us all.
Allan Joyce, Christchurch New Zealand

My fondest memory of Mollie Sugden was her character Mrs Slocombe in Are You Being Served? Sadly, yet another of our great entertainers has slipped away. She will be missed. God bless Mollie.
Bob Shrubb, Birchington, Kent

What a great loss to British comedy. Mollie gave me years and years of laughter - real 'laugh out loud' laughter. Thank you so much Mollie, you will never be forgotten. My thoughts go out to her sons and they can be justifiably proud of their wonderful mother who was a true star in the real sense of the word. I cannot think of any modern comedienne who could try her shoes on let alone fill them. Rest in peace Mollie you so deserve it.
Craftyjen, Suffolk

Ah Mollie. she was just always there, wasn't she? In the background of our lives. I grew up in the seventies so she was sort of a part of my childhood, but thanks to UKGold and other broadcasters she is probably a little part of everyone's life now, no matter when they grew up. Just such memorable characters. All right it wasn't Shakespeare, and she didn't change the world but she did what she did very well and gave pleasure to lots of people over many generations. Not bad. R.I.P. and thanks Mol.
RM, Edinburgh, UK

How sad, another of the great stars that we grew up with has left us never to be replaced. I loved Mollie Sugden. I thought she was a fantastic comedy legend. A very sad day. Thanks for the chuckles Mollie.
Stuart Allen, Romford Essex

Mollie was a lovely person. I worked with her on both That's My Boy and My Husband and I. She was a true professional and a very sympathetic and friendly soul both on the studio floor and in rehearsal. I also met her husband, William Moore, and was very sad to hear that he died some time ago. They were obviously devoted to each other and I'm not surprised she never recovered from his death. Mollie was a classic comedy actress who had high standards and expected everyone else to be as professional as she was. Her performances in Are You Being Served? were legendary and set the standard for television comedy for many years. A great artist and a sad loss to the profession.
Michael Chesden, Gloucestershire

God bless her. She made me laugh not just in Are You Being Served? but other sitcoms as well. She always came across as a down to earth and warm hearted soul. Not many of the old school left and she was irreplaceable.
David Halliday, Stockton-on-Tees

Who is going to look after Mrs Slocombe pussy now?
Rob Lovett, Swindon, Wiltshire

Sorry to hear of the passing of Mollie Sugden. Such a funny lady. When she lifted her eyes upwards when serving a customer at Grace Brothers, it said it all! I'm sure Mollie and her pal Wendy Richard are now running Grace Brothers in Heaven. Thanks for all the laughs, Mollie.
Nigel Williams, Chester

She was so good. I didn't miss any of her shows. I will miss her.
Omotoba Tobi, Nigeria

Mollie was a national treasure. With great comic timing and screen presence, she squeezed every last drop of comedy from every scene she played. We shall miss her dearly. PS: Who'll get custody of the cat I wonder?
Ian Philpott, Marlborough

I have such wonderful memories of watching Mollie Sugden in Are You Being Served? when I was a child. She was, without doubt my favourite character. I also remember watching her in That's My Boy from the eighties. Of all the recent celebrity deaths hers has affected me the most, because I associate Mollie, and her characters with good times, when both my own parents were alive - they too have sadly passed on now. My thoughts go to her family at this sad time.
Lorraine, Milton Keynes

Mollie Sugden

Thousands of us on this side of the Pond who have joyfully watched the reruns of "Are You Being Served" on Public Television -- and then watched them over again, and again -- share the sadness England must feel at Mollie Sugden's passing. Her comic characters may have had their undignified moments, but the dignity and grandness of that woman's soul informed the roles she played. The angels in whose company she now sits are in for some truly heavenly entertainment.
Christopher Childs, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

I was sad to hear the news about Mollie - as a child it was a regular nights viewing for the whole family to watch Are You Being Served - many laughs at her antics. Condolences to her family and friends.
Stuart Bee, Adelaide, Australia

Mollie Sugden is one of the funniest actresses I have ever had the privilege of watching. I fell in love with her from across the pond in the early nineties with Are You Being Served? I have a love of all things British in no small part because of Mollie, and I'm unanimous in that! Rest peacefully Mollie.
Craig Rittenhouse, West Lafayette United States

Having bought the box set of Are you Being Served? I became a huge fan of Mollie Sugden. There wasn't one episode that she didn't make me laugh out loud. Her facial expressions, her outrageous comments and the amazing costumes she would wear would be enough to have me in stitches. Farewell to a very talented actress. We will miss you.
Simon O'Farrell, Twickenham, UK

I was introduced to Mrs Sugden in 1995. A lasting impression she made. I will never forget this dear lady who made my heart and soul learn how to laugh again. Thank you, Mollie.
L Deldine, Boynton Beach, Florida, USA

Mollie Sugden

Loved her. Enjoyed her work. A delightful artiste.
Tara, Los Angeles, California

Back in the days when there was no such thing as digital telly, Are You Being Served? was classic comedy, even as a not-so-naive youngster, I and many others understood the many lines where Mrs Slocombe referred to her pussy, and similar double entendres. Back then I think we only had three channels to choose from too. She will be very much missed. With sympathy to her sons, Robin and Simon and all her family.
John Oliver, Middlesbrough, UK

As a person who greatly enjoys British comedy, the loss of another great actor leaves a melancholy void; however, it is great that Mollie's legacy is preserved on film for future fans to enjoy. Goodbye Mollie, you made my life richer for having been such a great sport in doing all manner of comedic roles and doing them well.
Daniel Schmid, Berlin, Germany

I've seen every episode of Are You Being Served? many times but never tired of the cast's antics. My all-time favourite was when Mollie pretended to be Mad Ma Gumby in the stock-taking episode while locked in with two thugs. She was always amazingly straight-faced despite any indignity, and was clearly a very special, rare and fun person. She will be greatly missed, and my heart goes out to her sons as well as her friends. I would have dearly loved to have met her.
Sandra Seals, Fort Worth Texas, USA

Mollie Sugden

Mollie Sugden was one of the very first comedy characters I remember as a small child. Even though I didn't understand the innuendo, just her appearance on the screen was enough to send me into hysterics. No matter where you travel in the world, you'll always meet locals with a love for Are You Being Served?. Just goes to show classic comedy never dies. Thank you for the fun times Mollie.
Christopher Dugan, Melbourne, Australia

We get Are you Being Served? on the local PBS station in the States. A few years ago, Mollie Sugden gave interviews during their fund-raising period. She was delightful in person, too. Thank you, Mrs. Sugden, for bringing us the hilarious Mrs. Slocombe (and I am unanimous in that).
Kay, Mooers, US

What a loss. Are You Being Served? was the funniest show I have even seen. I was so disappointed when I learned that what I had just discovered on American TV had been a hit some 20 years previously on the BBC and was out of production. It made me cherish each "new" show even more as I knew eventually such great entertainment would all too quickly come to and end. Mollie was the perfect Mrs Slocombe. I will miss her very much as I do the other members of the cast who also have since departed. She will always be remembered.
Jim Wallace, Houston, TX USA

I always felt I related to Molly Sugden, she reminded me of my own Grandmother, not the act, but the person beneath. It is a great pity that we have lost Mrs Hutchinson and Mrs Slocome in the same year. I loved watching Are you being Served? as a child. There has not been much made since to replace it!
Diana Rockman, London

I'll never forget her outrageous pink, blue and green rinses in the series and the Union Jack bloomers hoisted up in the film. A friend of mine also reported that Mollie graced his toilet in the seventies caught while filming The Liver Birds on location in West Derby. A comedy genius and a great British institution.
Mark Verner, Liverpool

What very sad news. She was a gifted actress who had the gift of comedic timing which she used throughout her career none more so evident than as the glorious and colourful Mrs Slocombe. Growing up in Yorkshire I instantly recognise the character that Mollie portrayed. If you look and observe very carefully there is still to be found a sprinkling of Mrs Slocombes purchasing cat food for their beloved pussies in the County of Yorkshire. Today we lost the greatest and funniest of them all: Mollie Sugden. God bless and thank you for bringing to our screens an iconic comedy character who was as colourful as one of her hair dos!
Richard Mc, Paignton UK

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