Marjorie Yates

Marjorie Yates (born 13 April 1941) is a British actress best known for her role as Carol Fisher in the Channel 4 drama Shameless.

Marjorie Yates
Born (1941-04-13) 13 April 1941
Years active1970–present
Spouse(s)Michael Freeman (divorced)

Yates was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, and studied at the Bournville College of Art.[1] An early TV role was in Colin Welland's Play for Today ("'Kisses At Fifty", BBC, 1972) alongside Bill Maynard and she went on to feature in several BBC's single play strands, including other 'Plays for Today' Better Than The Movies (1972), The Bouncing Boy (1972), A Helping Hand (1975), Daft Mam Blues (1977), Marya (1979), The Other Side (1979)', Pasmore (1980), Alan Bennett's Marks (1982) and June (1990).[2] Other roles followed with a part in Putting on the Agony (Granada, 1973) in which she had the lead role as Marilyn.[3] The role was followed throughout the 1970s with minor parts in a number of television productions including Z-Cars and The Brothers in 1974 and The Sweeney in 1976. She continued her acting career on stage and television throughout the 1980s and 1990s including minor parts in Great Expectations, Boon, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Village Hall, Crown Court the BBC's 1984 series Morgan's Boy, Wycliffe, Underbelly (1990) and a leading role in A Very British Coup.[4] Her film roles include the children's mother in The Optimists of Nine Elms (1973) with Peter Sellers; Vault Of Horror (1973); Legend of the Werewolf (1975); The Glitterball (1977); as the wife of Donald Neilson in the crime film The Black Panther (1977), Priest of Love (1981), Wetherby (1985) and Dead Man's Folly (1986).[2] She also featured alongside David Swift in Couples, a long running, twice weekly day time drama on UK ITV about a marriage guidance counselling service.[5]

Yates appeared in the Terence Davies film The Long Day Closes (1992).[6] Yates has had parts in Where the Heart Is in 1997 and Heartbeat in 2000. She has also appeared in The Bill in 1990, 1996 and twice in 2002.[7] In 2001, Yates appeared on stage in London's West End in Noël Coward's "Star Quality", playing opposite Penelope Keith and Una Stubbs.[8]

Yates was initially cast in a small role for the Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless playing the role of Carol Fisher, mother of Veronica Ball (Maxine Peake) in 2004, originally for one episode. After a minor role in No Angels Yates was invited back to Shameless on a permanent basis. She starred as Carol from series 2 in December 2004 to the end of series 4 in February 2007.[9] She left after three series, when it was decided to write out the Fishers from the programme in 2006, following the departure of Peake.[10]

Radio performances include: BBC Radio 4's Untold Secrets (1995); Sonya And Leo (2002); Playing the Salesman (2006); a recurring role throughout 2008 in The Archers; as well as BBC Radio 3's Sunday Play: Walk to the Paradise Garden in 2001.[11]

Yates has since been starring in British theatre productions.[12] She appeared in the BBC series Casualty as Val Barnaby in the episode "The things we do for..." broadcast in July 2008.[13]

In January 2010 it was announced that Yates would once again team up with former Shameless co-star Maxine Peake in the film Edge. Filming began that same month.[14]

Yates was married for a time to Michael Freeman, a former parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party in Finchley and a councillor on Barnet Council. They had two children, but divorced in the 1980s.


  1. Baker, Harry (23 June 2007). "Accent her spur to success". Birmingham Evening Mail. p. 24.
  2. "Marjorie Yates". BFI.
  3. "Putting on the Agony (1973)". BFI.
  4. "Marjorie Yates".
  5. "Couples[07/01/76] (1976)". BFI.
  6. "The Long Day Closes Archived 19 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine"
  7. "055: Risky Behaviour" via
  8. Wolf, Matt; Wolf, Matt (2 November 2001). "Star Quality".
  9. Marjorie Yates on IMDb
  10. "Television - News - Maxine Peake quits 'Shameless'". Digital Spy. 20 May 2006. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  11. "The Monday Play: Untold Secrets". 13 March 1995. p. 97 via BBC Genome.
  12. "Edward Albee's ''Three Tall Women'' | Reviews". Oxford Playhouse. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  13. "Casualty cast list @ BBC One"
  14. "Edge Screenplay". 7 January 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010.

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