Millicent Martin

Millicent Mary Lillian Martin (born 8 June 1934) is an English actress, singer, and comedian,[1] who was the lone female singer of topical songs on the weekly BBC Television satire show That Was The Week That Was known as TW3 (1962–1963). For her work on Broadway, she received Tony Award nominations for Side by Side by Sondheim (1977) and King of Hearts (1978), both for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Other television roles include her recurring role as Gertrude Moon in the NBC sitcom Frasier (2000–04) and Joan Margaret in Grace & Frankie.

Millicent Martin
Millicent Mary Lillian Martin

(1934-06-08) 8 June 1934
Romford, Essex, England
OccupationActress, singer, and comedian
Years active1954present
Spouse(s)Ronnie Carroll (19591965)
Norman Eshley (19691973)
Marc Alexander (1978present)

Life and career

Martin was born in Romford, Essex.


She made her Broadway debut alongside Julie Andrews in The Boy Friend in 1954. Her additional New York theatre credits include taking over as Dorothy Brock in the original Broadway production of 42nd Street and performing the revue Side by Side by Sondheim with Julia McKenzie and David Kernan, for which she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She received a second Tony nomination for the musical King of Hearts.

In London, Martin starred with Paul Scofield and James Kenney in Expresso Bongo at the Saville Theatre. In 1959, she had also appeared in The Crooked Mile. Also in West End, she starred opposite Jim Dale in The Card in 1975.

In 1988, Martin joined the London production of the Sondheim musical Follies, starring with Eartha Kitt.

More recently, in 2008, she appeared at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park with Topol, Linda Thorson and Lisa O'Hare in the Lerner & Lowe musical, Gigi.


During the early 1960s, Martin was the resident singer of topical songs on the British weekly satire show That Was The Week That Was (1962-1963). One of the songs she sang on the show, the John F. Kennedy tribute "In the Summer of His Years", was released as a single and 'bubbled under' the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No 104 in 1963 (but was outcharted by a cover version by Connie Francis, which reached No 46). She has also released recordings in Swedish, such as the 7" single "Om du nånsin skulle ändra dej".

Martin had her own BBC television series between 1964 and 1966, titled Mainly Millicent for the first two series, and shortened to Millicent for the third and final series. In one episode, Martin and guest star Roger Moore performed a comedy skit in which Moore played secret agent James Bond some years before he was cast in the role. In the mid-1960s she guested, alongside Pete Murray and Kenneth Williams, in an edition of Juke Box Jury.[2]

She appeared with Morecambe and Wise in their series "Two of a Kind" in the 1960s.

In 1969, Sir Lew Grade wanted to make a comedy film series, starring Martin, that would appeal to both American and British audiences. He sent six comedy sketches of Martin to producer Sheldon Leonard, who came up with the premise of From a Bird's Eye View. The series was not a success and was cancelled after 16 episodes had been filmed.

In 1977, on Jubilee Day, she appeared in a gala edition of BBC TV's The Good Old Days to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, performing in a double act with Julia McKenzie.

Martin appeared as Gladys Moon in 13 episodes of Moon and Son, a 1992 BBC detective series created by Robert Banks Stewart, and co-starring John Michie.

In 2005, she had a small part in the film, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont which starred Joan Plowright.

Her later television roles include Gertrude Moon, Daphne Moon's Mancunian mother, in the American sitcom Frasier. She has worked for the Disney Channel, starring in the shows The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Jonas and in the film Return to Halloweentown. Other performances include guest roles in The Drew Carey Show, Will & Grace, Newhart and Days of Our Lives. She also had a small role on an episode of Gilmore Girls and a key role in an episode of Modern Family.

In 2011, she guest-starred opposite her former Frasier daughter, Jane Leeves, in the TV Land series Hot in Cleveland. She has also had an appearance in the fourth season of Chuck as the mother of Hartley Winterbottom, who was given the first Intersect prototype and became Alexei Volkoff; she also guest-starred on an episode of the fourth season of Castle as a theatre critic who wrote a harsh review of a performance given by Castle's mother.

Since 2017 she has appeared in Grace and Frankie as Joan-Margaret.


In the mid-1960s, Martin appeared in British feature films Nothing But the Best (1964), Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965), Stop the World – I Want to Get Off (1966), and Alfie (1966).

Personal life

Martin was married to the pop singer Ronnie Carroll from 1958 until 1965, and subsequently to actor Norman Eshley, but both marriages ended in divorce. She has been married to American Marc Alexander since 1978, and is now a permanent resident of the United States.



Year Title Role Notes
1959 Libel Maisie
1961 Invasion Quartet Kay
1962 The Girl on the Boat Billie Bennett
1964 Nothing but the Best Ann Horton
1966 Alfie Siddie
1966 Stop the World – I Want to Get Off Evie / Anya / Ara
2005 Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont Mrs. De Salis
2016 Adventures of Old Man Short
2017 The Last Word Margaret Dumont


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Theatre Night Maisie King "Expresso Bingo"
1960 International Detective Katie O'Brien / Susan "The Rose Bowl Case", "The Marlowe Case"
1961 The Horsemasters Joan Disney TV film
1964 Espionage Susan "Once a Spy"
1964 Drama 61-67 Jocelyn Willows "The Happy Moorings"
1964 Kiss Me Kate Lois Lane TV film
1970–71 From a Bird's Eye View Millie Grover Main role
1981 That Beryl Marston...! Kay "Live & Let Live"
1984 Glitter Valerie Beaumont "In Tennis, Love Means Nothing"
1986 Newhart Sylvia "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid"
1986–87 Downtown Harriet Conover Main role
1987 L.A. Law Arlene Sabrett "Pigmalion"
1988 Max Headroom Cornelia Firth "Baby Grobags"
1992 Moon and Son Gladys Moon Main role
1996 Coach Tita "Luther Get Your Gun"
1996 The Upper Hand Dolly Hamp "Nobody's Child"
1998–2001 Days of Our Lives Lili Faversham Regular role
1999 Stark Raving Mad Katie Randall "Fish Out of Water"
2000 That's Life Carol Recurring role (season 1)
2000–2004 Frasier Gertrude Moon Recurring role (seasons 7–11)
2004 The Drew Carey Show Helen "Passion of the Wick"
2005 Will & Grace Leni "Love Is in the Airplane"
2006 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Mrs. Delacourt "Free Tippy"
2006 Return to Halloweentown Prof. Persimmon Periwinkle TV film
2009 Jonas Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth "Fashion Victim"
2011 Chuck Mrs. Winterborne "Chuck Vs. Agent X"
2011–2014 Hot in Cleveland Agnes Bratford "Hot for the Lawyer", "Tazed and Confused"
2012 Castle Oona Marconi "A Dance with Death"
2013 Modern Family Charlotte "Goodnight Gracie"
2013 Bones Evelyn Schumacher "The Cheat in the Retreat"
2016 2 Broke Girls Gertrude "And the Coming Out Party"
2017–19 Grace and Frankie Joan-Margaret
2018 Code Black Marjorie "Home Stays Home"


  1. Biography
  2. Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-84854-195-5.
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