Patricia Hayes

Patricia Hayes.jpg
Patricia Lawlor Hayes

(1909-12-22)22 December 1909
Streatham, London, England
Died19 September 1998(1998-09-19) (aged 88)
Resting placeWatts Cemetery Chapel, Compton, Surrey, England
Years active1938–1996
Spouse(s)Valentine Brooke (1939–1951) (divorced) (3 children)
ChildrenRichard O'Callaghan (born 1940)

Patricia Lawlor Hayes OBE (22 December 1909 – 19 September 1998) was an English character actress.

Early life

Patricia Hayes OBE was born in Streatham,[1] London, the daughter of George Frederick Hayes and Florence Alice Hayes. Her father was a clerk in the civil service and her mother was a schoolmistress. As a child, Hayes attended the Sacred Heart School in Hammersmith.


She was featured in many radio and television comedy shows between 1940 and 1996, including Hancock's Half Hour, Ray's a Laugh, The Arthur Askey Show, The Benny Hill Show, Bootsie and Snudge, Hugh and I and Till Death Us Do Part. She played the part of Henry Bones in the BBC Children's Hour radio programme Norman and Henry Bones – The Boy Detectives during the late 1940s.

Hayes was cast in supporting roles for films including The Bargee (1964), The NeverEnding Story (1984), A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and was also featured as Fin Raziel in the Ron Howard film Willow (1988).

Her most substantial television appearance was in the title role of Edna, the Inebriate Woman (Play for Today, 1971) for which she won a BAFTA award. She provided the character voice for comedy puppet performances for television and DVDs – e.g. Gran (Woodland Animations, 1982).

She was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1972 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.[citation needed]

In April 1975, Hayes was interviewed by Roy Plomley for Desert Island Discs. A sizeable, yet incomplete, extract is available to listen to and download via the programme's website on the BBC.[2]

In 1977, she appeared on the BBC's long running TV variety show The Good Old Days; she had been an early member of the Players' Theatre in London, an old time music hall club, from the 1950s onwards.

In 1985, she starred in the title role of the TV play, Mrs Capper's Birthday, by Noël Coward.

Personal life

She was the mother of British actor Richard O'Callaghan (born Richard Brooke) by her marriage to Valentine Brooke, whom she divorced. She never remarried. She was formerly the head of the British Catholic Stage Guild, which her son later chaired.

She was awarded an OBE in 1988.


Patricia Hayes died in September, 1998 in Puttenham, Surrey,[1] but she appeared posthumously in the 2002 film Crime and Punishment which had been filmed in 1993, but delayed because of a legal case.[3] She is buried at Watts Cemetery, Compton, Surrey.[4]

Television roles

Year Title Role Notes
1938 When We Are Married Ruby Birtle
1957 to March 14, 1979 The Benny Hill Show Various (TV series)
1957 to 1958 Educated Evans Joe's Mother
1958 to 1960 Hancock Mrs. Cravatte
1962 to 1966 Hugh and I Griselda Wormold
1967 to 1969 The Very Merry Widow Katie
1967 to 1975 Till Death Us Do Part Mrs Evans
1968 to 1969 According To Dora Various
1968 to 1969 The World of Beachcomber Various
1969 Catweazle Mrs. Skinner ("The wisdom of Solomon")
1971 Grasshopper Island Lupus
1971 Edna, the Inebriate Woman Edna
1971 The Trouble With Lilian Lilian
1971 to 1972 The Last of the Baskets Mrs Basket
1972 The Goodies Hazel, or "Hecate, Queen of Necromancy" "That Old Black Magic" (ep 3.4)
1974 Holiday With Strings Air Hostess
1977 London Belongs To Me Connie Coke
1980 Juliet Bravo Doris Latham
1980 to 1982 Spooner's Patch Mrs Cantaford
1981 Till Death... Min Reed
1983 The Witches and the Grinnygog Miss Bendybones
1983 to 1984 The Lady Is a Tramp Old Pat
1984 Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Gran Waters "And the Walls Came Tumbling Down"
1985 Marjorie and Men Alice Tripp
1986 In Sickness and in Health Min Reed
1993 Lovejoy Lady Alfreston (Series 5, Episode 3)
1995 Heartbeat Flo (Series 5, Episode 2)

Selected filmography


  1. ^ a b Dennis Barker, "Hayes, Patricia Lawlor (1909–1998)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004 available online. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  2. ^ BBC Radio 4: Desert Island Discs
  3. ^ Paul, Louis (2007). Tales from the cult film trenches: interviews with 36 actors from horror, science fiction and exploitation cinema. McFarland.
  4. ^ Monumental inscription.