Royle Family actress Liz Smith dies aged 95

Her co-stars of the BBC sitcom have left tributes to the veteran actor

126752

Liz Smith, star of beloved comedy The Royle Family, has died aged 95.

Advertisement

The actress played “Nana” Norma Speakman in three series of the BBC comedy from 1998 to 2000, plus 2006 special The Queen of Sheba, an episode that told the story of her character’s death.

Smith was also known for her roles as peculiar baker Letitia Cropley in The Vicar of Dibley, Annie Brandon in I Didn’t Know You Cared and Zillah in Lark Rise to Candleford.

A statement from a spokeswoman for her family said: “The BAFTA award-winning actress Liz Smith has died, on Christmas Eve, at the age of 95.”

Royle Family co-star Ralf Little tweeted his tribute to the star:

Andrew Whyment, who played Darren in the Royle Family, also gave a tribute to Smith.

Smith was made Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2009 and announced her retirement in July of that year.

Three days before receiving the honour, Smith suffered three strokes within just two days and was subsequently diagnosed with speech-impeding condition aphasia.

Advertisement

Smith’s death comes only months after her Royle Family co-star Caroline Aherne died from lung cancer aged 52.