Patricia Hayes

Patricia Lawlor Hayes OBE (22 December 1909 – 19 September 1998) was an English BAFTA Television Award-winning character actress.

Patricia Hayes
Patricia Lawlor Hayes

(1909-12-22)22 December 1909
Died19 September 1998(1998-09-19) (aged 88)
Years active1938–1996
Spouse(s)Valentine Brooke (divorced)
ChildrenRichard O'Callaghan (born 1940)

Early life

Hayes was born in Streatham, London,[2] the daughter of George Frederick Hayes and Florence Alice Hayes. Her father was a clerk in the civil service and her mother was a schoolmistress. As a child, Hayes attended the Sacred Heart School in Hammersmith.


She was featured in many radio and television comedy shows between 1940 and 1996, including Hancock's Half Hour, Ray's a Laugh, The Arthur Askey Show, The Benny Hill Show, Bootsie and Snudge, Hugh and I and Till Death Us Do Part. She played the part of Henry Bones in the BBC Children's Hour radio programme Norman and Henry Bones – The Boy Detectives during the late 1940s.

Hayes was cast in supporting roles for films including The Bargee (1964), The NeverEnding Story (1984), A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and was also featured as Fin Raziel in the Ron Howard film Willow (1988).

Her most substantial television appearance was in the title role of Edna, the Inebriate Woman (Play for Today, 1971) for which she won a BAFTA award. She provided the character voice for comedy puppet performances for television and DVDs – e.g. Gran (Woodland Animations, 1982).

In April 1975, Hayes was interviewed by Roy Plomley for Desert Island Discs. A sizeable, yet incomplete, extract is available to listen to and download via the programme's website on the BBC.[3]

In 1977, she appeared on the BBC's long running TV variety show The Good Old Days; she had been an early member of the Players' Theatre in London, an old time music hall club, from the 1950s onwards.

In 1985, she starred in the title role of the TV play, Mrs Capper's Birthday, by Noël Coward.

Personal life

She was the mother of British actor Richard O'Callaghan (born Richard Brooke) by her marriage to the late Valentine Brooke, whom she divorced. She never remarried. She was formerly the head of the British Catholic Stage Guild, which her son, Richard, now chairs.

She was awarded an OBE in 1988.


Patricia Hayes died in September, 1998 in Surrey[4] but she appeared posthumously in the 2002 film Crime and Punishment which had been filmed in 1993, but delayed because of a legal case.[5]

Television roles

1938When We Are MarriedRuby Birtle
1957The Benny Hill ShowVarious(TV series)
1957 to 1958Educated EvansJoe's Mother
1958 to 1960HancockMrs. Cravatte
1962 to 1966Hugh and IGriselda Wormold
1967 to 1969The Very Merry WidowKatie
1968 to 1969According To DoraVarious
1968 to 1969The World of BeachcomberVarious
1969CatweazleMrs. Skinner("The wisdom of Solomon")
1970Grasshopper IslandLupus
1971Edna, the Inebriate WomanEdna
1971The Trouble With LilianLilian
1971 to 1972The Last of the BasketsMrs Basket
1972The GoodiesHazel, or "Hecate, Queen of Necromancy""That Old Black Magic" (ep 3.4)
1974Holiday With StringsAir Hostess
1977London Belongs To MeConnie Coke
1980Juliet BravoDoris Latham
1980 to 1982Spooner's PatchMrs Cantaford
1981Till Death...Min Reed
1983The Witches and the GrinnygogMiss Bendybones
1983 to 1984The Lady Is a TrampOld Pat
1984Hammer House of Mystery and SuspenseGran Waters"And the Walls Came Tumbling Down"
1985Marjorie & MenAlice Tripp
1993LovejoyLady Alfreston(Series 5, Episode 3)
1995HeartbeatFlo(Series 5, Episode 2)

Selected filmography


  1. Births England and Wales 1837–1983
  2. GRO Register of Births: Mar 1910 1d 623 WANDSWORTH – Patricia Lawlor HAYES
  3. BBC Radio 4: Desert Island Discs
  4. GRO Register of Deaths: SEP 1998 A5B 70 WEST SURREY – Patricia Lawlor Brook, DoB 22 Dec 1909 aged 88
  5. Paul, Louis (2007). Tales from the cult film trenches: interviews with 36 actors from horror, science fiction and exploitation cinema. McFarland.
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