Una Stubbs dies aged 84: Benedict Cumberbatch pays tribute to 'Sherlock' star

Cliff Richard, Mark Gatiss and Paul Weller also share memories of the 'Till Death Us do Part' and 'Worzel Gummidge' actress

Celebrated British actress Una Stubbs, known for her roles in Till Death Us do Part and Sherlock, has died aged 84.

The TV favourite, who also appeared in shows Worzel Gummidge, The Worst Witch and EastEnders, was best known to modern audiences as Mrs Hudson, Sherlock Holmes's landlady, in the BBC series.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the eccentric detective in Sherlock, paid tribute to Stubbs after news of her death was released on Thursday, calling the actress "so humble and yet so good".

"She was a wonderful, talented, stylish, gentle, joyous and honest friend," the actor told the Metro newspaper. "She lit up the room and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to know her, but she will be remembered forever with fondness and love."

Fellow Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss, who plays Holmes's brother Mycroft, described Stubbs as a “wonderful woman and a great and serenely graceful actor”.

"It was one of the great joys of my life to work so closely with and to adore Una Stubbs," the actor wrote on Twitter. "Mischief was in her blood. We were so blessed that she became our imperishable Mrs Hudson. Goodbye, darling."

Sherlock creator Steven Moffat, meanwhile, said "the loveliest light on Baker Street has gone out" in a tribute on Instagram.

"What a woman, what a talent, what a star – and just about the kindest, nicest, funniest person you could meet," the writer and producer said. "I don’t know how anyone even starts summing up that career – Till Death Us Do Part, Fawlty Towers, the incomparable Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge … and, of course, the irreplaceable heart and soul of Sherlock."

Stubbs, who was born in England in 1937, rose to fame after landing a role in Cliff Richard’s 1963 film Summer Holiday, before making a name for herself as one of the stars of popular BBC sitcom Till Death Us do Part, which launched in 1966.

Stubbs also appeared in recent comedies including The Catherine Tate Show and Benidorm.

Singer and actor Richard said the star "was the most exciting person to be with" in a video posted to social media.

"She was funny, she could really do just about anything – act, dance, she could even sing,” he said. “Anyway, she has left us and all I want to say is I personally will miss her greatly and I know that our industry on the whole will also miss her greatly.

“Her talent, her joy, everything that she was will remain with us all. While we remember her, she will still be with us.”

The actress died after a few months of illness, her agent Rebecca Blond told the BBC, also saying that she would "miss [Stubbs] enormously and remember her always".

“We are desperately sad to have lost not only a wonderful actress, whose screen and stage career, spanning over 50 years, was so extraordinarily varied, from Till Death Us do Part to Sherlock, as well as memorable performances in the West End, at the Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse, Sheffield Crucible and National Theatre, but also a wickedly funny, elegant, stylish, graceful, gracious and kind and constant friend."

In a statement released on Thursday, Stubbs's sons Joe and Christian Henson and Jason Gilmore said: "Mum passed away quietly today with her family around her, in Edinburgh. We ask for privacy and understanding at this most difficult and sad of times."

Further tributes came from EastEnders actress Lucy Benjamin, who said Stubbs "taught me so much as a child actor" after the pair appeared in a Worzel Gummidge stage show in the 1980s.

The Jam singer Paul Weller, meanwhile, shared a photograph of himself with Stubbs on Twitter, writing: “With deepest sympathy on the passing of Una Stubbs … a wonderful and talented lady.”

Updated: August 13th 2021, 6:02 AM
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