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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Actress Pat Coombs dies
Pat Coombs, opposite Reg Varney in Beggar Thy Neighbour
Pat Coombs, opposite Reg Varney in Beggar Thy Neighbour
One of Britain's great character actresses, Pat Coombs, has died at the age of 75.

Known for many roles on radio, film and in classic sitcoms she was also well-known for playing Marge Green, in BBC One's EastEnders.

Pat Coombs
Pat Coombs was still working in radio
She died on Saturday after complications from emphysema at Denville Hall in Northwood, north west London, which is run by The Actors' Charitable Trust.

Coombs' film career began in the 1950s and included Carry On Doctor, Carry On Again Doctor and the film version of ITV comedy On The Buses.

She played Lana Butt in the 1967 TV comedy series Beggar My Neighbour, and made guest appearances in the Dick Emery Show and Till Death Us Do Part.

More recently she appeared in EastEnders and guested in the comedy Birds Of A Feather.

Coombs, born in Camberwell, south London in 1926, never married.

'Top comics'

Her agent Barry Burnett said: "She was still working and had only just completed a radio role, alongside June Whitfield in Like They've Never Been Gone for Radio 4."

Dick Emery, Pat Coombs in 1974
She appeared in Christmas specials with Dick Emery
"She worked with most of the top comics in the country, like Bob Monkhouse and Dick Emery - and she was very happy to work with Noel Edmonds on Noel's House Party.

"She was also very pleased to get a part in EastEnders - she played Brown Owl, and most of her scenes were with June Brown and Gretchen Franklin.

"She'd suffered from emphysema for some time, but she wanted to carry on as long as possible," added Mr Burnett.

Pat Coombs was also a patron of the National Osteoporosis Society and its director paid tribute to the actress.

Linda Edwards said, "In spite of the terrible pain she endured with her osteoporosis, she was always making a joke to make me laugh when I visited her.

"She was determined to help others avoid the pain she'd endured and was thrilled when her Christmas appeal letter raised 100,000 for research, the best single appeal result we'd ever had."

See also:

27 May 02 | Entertainment
24 Sep 99 | Medical notes
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