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Coronation Street

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From Coronation Street Wiki

Jean Alexander (born 24th February, 1926 in Liverpool) is a British television actress best known for her portrayal of the nosey but lovable housewife Hilda Ogden on Coronation Street from July 1964 to December 1987. Hilda was one of the most popular characters in the history of the Street, though Jean herself first appeared on the programme in October 1962, playing Joan Akers' landlady Mrs. Webb.

Prior to her casting as Hilda, Jean appeared in episodes of ITV Television Playhouse and Z Cars, following an earlier career as an library assistant and then wardrobe mistress and stage mistress in repertory theatres in Macclesfield, Oldham, Stockport and York followed by seven years with Southport rep. Her Christmas Day 1987 departure from the Street attracted 26 million viewers, a record for the show that stands to this day.

In 1988, Jean was nominated for a BAFTA for her portrayal of Hilda. Although she didn't win, she was the first soap actress to receive a BAFTA nomination, and indeed the last for twenty-one years, when EastEnders actress June Brown was nominated for a special monologue episode at the 2009 awards. Like Jean Alexander before her, June Brown did not win.

Post-Coronation Street, Jean has appeared in Boon, Where The Heart Is and Heartbeat, but her longest-running role after Hilda is junk shop owner Auntie Wainwright in long-running BBC sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine, in which she guested in 1988 and 1989, before being made a permanent cast member in 1991. She still appears on the programme from time to time to this day.

Jean published an autobiography in 1989. In it, she describes her childhood, her attempts to get in the acting world and, of course, her friends on the Street and the reasons why she left.

Jean, who has never married, was voted by readers of television listings magazine TV Times as the "Greatest Soap Opera Star of All Time" in 2005.


This article uses material from the "Jean Alexander" article on the Coronation Street wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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