Sherlock Star Una Stubbs Dead at 84

Una Stubbs, the actress who played Mrs. Hudson on Sherlock, has passed away at the age of 84. "We will miss her enormously," her agent said, "and remember her always."

By Elyse Dupre Aug 12, 2021 8:47 PMTags
Una StubbsShutterstock

The world has lost a beloved star.

Una Stubbs died at the age of 84 on Thursday, Aug. 12. Her family told NBC News the Sherlock star passed away quietly surrounded by family in Edinburgh, Scotland. While Stubbs' cause of death has yet to be revealed, her agent Rebecca Blond told the BBC the actress had been ill for a few months.  

"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," Stubbs' representative for more than 20 years told NBC News in a statement. "She was also a highly respected and exhibited artist. We will miss her enormously and remember her always."

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Born in Hertfordshire, England, Stubbs fell in love with the arts at an early age. According to The Guardian, she enrolled in dance school at age 14 and made her first stage appearance when she was 16. And while she never studied drama specifically, Stubbs told the newspaper in 2007, "I've been to the school of observation. I learned everything there."

In 1963, she appeared in the movie Summer Holiday, which catapulted her to a new level of fame. Stubbs went on to star in the TV series Till Death Us Do Part from 1965 to 1975 and Worzel Gummidge from 1979 to 1981. Over the years, she continued to land roles in several television programs, including The Worst Witch and EastEnders. She also acted in a number of plays, including Star Quality and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. More recently, she played Mrs. Hudson on the show Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

She is survived by her sons Christian, Joe and Jason.

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After news of her passing broke, several colleagues, including the creators of Sherlock, paid tribute on social media.

"The loveliest light on Baker Street has gone out," Steven Moffat wrote on Instagram. "What a woman, what a talent, what a star—and just about the kindest, nicest, funniest person you could meet. 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."

Tweeted Mark Gatiss, "It was one of the great joys of my life to work so closely with and to adore Una Stubbs. She was a wonderful, wonderful woman and a great and serenely graceful actor. Mischief was in her blood. We were so blessed that she became our imperishable Mrs Hudson. Goodbye, darling."

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