Kathleen Mary Margaret Bryant (8 March 1897 – 1 January 1988), professionally known as Margot Bryant was an English actress, of stage, television and film best known for playing Minnie Caldwell on the soap opera Coronation Street from its inception in 1960 until her departure in 1976 (episode 1589).
Kathleen Mary Margaret Bryant
8 March 1897
|Died||1 January 1988 90) (aged|
Early life and career
The daughter of general practitioner Dr. William Arthur Bryant, Bryant moved to London with her parents on completing her education. There, she became interested in theatre, and appeared in the chorus lines of various productions before moving on to musical comedies.
She also appeared in a number of films, such as The Cure for Love (1949) and Beat Girl with Oliver Reed in 1960. She also appeared in a West End role, as Lucy in Gay's the Word at the Saville Theatre. Bryant also toured in My Mother Said and later appeared in the show's television production. She also appeared in The Bell Family and in films I Get Myself Arrested and The Large Rope.
Bryant's most notable television role came later in life, playing elderly timid Minnie Caldwell on the soap opera Coronation Street, a role she occupied from 1960 to 1976 over the course of 990 episodes. The character's life tended to revolve around her ginger tom-cat, Bobby. Minnie Caldwell was a diminutive figure, with a distracted manner and often appeared drinking milk stout in the snug of the soap's public house the Rovers Return Inn. The character, consequently, was a put-upon companion of her two friends busybody Martha Longhurst (played by Lynne Carol) and the elderly battleaxe Ena Sharples (played by Violet Carson). Bryant suffered severe memory loss (amnesia) in March 1976, and was unable to continue in the role; her penultimate episode involved her reading her lines off prompts and on props such as her handbag and her final episode was broadcast in April 1976. Her on-screen absence was explained by mentioning that her character had moved to live with an old friend, Handel Gartside (played by Harry Markham) in Derbyshire.
Bryant was a dedicated performer, always insisting on high standards of professionalism and good manners. She was later distressed by her difficulty to learn her lines as her health deteriorated.
Ultimately, Bryant was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and was admitted to Cheadle Royal Hospital, Heald Green, Cheshire where she remained as an in-patient until her death on New Year's Day 1988, two months before her ninety-first birthday. She never married or had children. She was close friends with fellow Coronation Street actress Eileen Derbyshire.
- The Daily Telegraph - Obituaries (5 January 1988)