Pat Ashton

Pat Ashton
Born (1931-02-28)28 February 1931
Wood Green, London, England
Died 23 June 2013(2013-06-23) (aged 82)[1]
Diss, Norfolk, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1965–1984

Pat Ashton (28 February 1931 – 23 June 2013) was an English actress. Her engaging cockney, blonde persona is best remembered for appearances in English TV-sitcom film spin-offs On the Buses (1971) and Mutiny on the Buses (1972).[2] She was married to Geoff Godwin 1953-1985, separated with 1 child.

Early life

Ashton was born and raised in Wood Green, North London. Trained from childhood as a singer and tap-dancer, she performed in the 1950s at seaside resorts around England in summer season shows. In the early 1960s, she toured Europe with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in Oh, What a Lovely War!. Early West End appearances included Half a Sixpence and The Matchgirls.


Ashton's first television break was taking the role of Fanny Cornforth opposite Oliver Reed in Ken Russell's Danté's Inferno (1967), a film in the Omnibus series on the life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The part later led to a small role in Russell's 1971 film The Devils.

In 1970, Ashton's chirpy, blonde persona found her understudying Barbara Windsor in the Ned Sherrin-produced musical Sing a Rude Song, based on the life of music hall singer Marie Lloyd; she successfully took the lead role when Windsor was struck down with laryngitis.

Ashton played numerous TV roles; credits include: On the Buses (1971) - subsequently making memorable appearances in two spin-off films; The Benny Hill Show (1972–80); Both Ends Meet (1972, with Dora Bryan); Don't Drink the Water (1975, an On the Buses spin-off); Yus, My Dear (1976, with Arthur Mullard), Rooms (1977); Only When I Laugh (1980, with James Bolam); The Gaffer (1981–83, with Bill Maynard), and Tripper's Day (1984, with Leonard Rossiter) Beer Hunter Minder Episode 1980 (with Dennis Waterman, George Cole.

A notable television role was that of Annie, wife of a burglar (Bob Hoskins) who comes out of prison to find that his old friend (John Thaw) has moved in, in Thick As Thieves (1974). When LWT declined a second series, the writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais took the idea to the BBC, where it was developed into the much-loved series Porridge.

On stage, she later appeared in Stepping Out, and was a regular performer at the Players' Theatre in London.[3]



  1. "Pat Ashton obituary". Pictures that Talk. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  2. "Biography for Pat Ashton obituary". IMDb. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  3. Nick Godwin (23 June 2013). "Pat Ashton obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2013.

External links

Pat Ashton at the Internet Movie Database

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