Barbara Flynn

Barbara Flynn (born Barbara Joy McMurray; 5 August 1948) is an English actress. She first came to prominence playing Freda Ashton in the ITV drama series A Family at War (1970–72). She went on to play the milk woman in the BBC comedy Open All Hours (1981–85), Jill Swinburne in The Beiderbecke Trilogy (1985–88), Dr. Rose Marie in the BBC series A Very Peculiar Practice (1986–88), Judith Fitzgerald in the ITV drama Cracker (1993–95), and Mrs. Jamieson in Cranford (2007–09). In her own words, she tends to play "feisty, strong women".[1]

Barbara Flynn
Barbara Flynn in 2006
Barbara Joy McMurray

(1948-08-05) 5 August 1948
Jeremy Taylor
(m. 1982; his death 2017)

Early life

Flynn was born in St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. Her Irish father, Dr James McMurray, was a pathologist. Her mother was Joy (or Joyce) Crawford Hurst. Flynn attended St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Hastings. She then trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (where she was awarded the Gold Medal in 1968) before appearing in repertory theatre.




In addition to her acting work, Flynn has provided voice-overs for numerous TV documentaries, including:

  • Body Styles (1989)
  • Time of Her Life (1993)
  • Network First (1996)
  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan (1997)
  • Deaf Century (1999)
  • The 1900 House (1999)
  • Horizon (numerous episodes, 2002 to present)
  • The 50s and 60s in Living Colour (2003)
  • George Orwell: A Life in Pictures (2003)
  • From Here to Paternity (2004)
  • The Monastery (2005)
  • The Ghost in Your Genes (2005)
  • Time Shift: Alan Plater (2005)
  • The Queen's Castle (2005)
  • Guarding the Queen (2007)
  • The Restaurant (2008)
  • Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (2011 to present)
  • Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (2012)
  • The Flying Scotsman: A Rail Romance (2013)
  • The Planners (2013)
  • Permission Impossible: Britain's Planners (2014)


Theatre work

Flynn appeared in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre production of Pythagoras in 1976. This was a new play by Danny Abse. In 2016 she appeared in the world premiere production of Elegy at the Donmar Warehouse.[2]


  1. "BBC – Press Office – Sea of Souls Barbara Flynn". BBC. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  2. Shenton, Mark (15 January 2016). "Casting Announcd for Donmar Warehouse Premiere of Elegy; to Include Zoë Wanamaker". Playbill. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
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