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Born 2 April 1940 in Sutton, Surrey, Penelope Keith developed her famously plummy accent at boarding school.
Her first major break came playing the chiffon clad snob Margot Leadbetter in popular 1970s British sitcom The Good Life.
Originally a peripheral character in the series, Keith's natural comedic talent saw Margot's role grow into a much-loved household favourite, winning her a BAFTA for Best Comedy Performer.
Keith went on to take the starring role of former lady of the manor Audrey fforbes-Hamilton in To The Manor Born. Audrey's love-hate relationship with nouveau-riche businessman Richard DeVere (Peter Bowles) attracted huge viewing figures and cemented Keith's niche in playing snobby but likable toffs.
She appeared as the lead character in six other sitcoms, including most notably No Job for a Lady and Next of Kin, although none of these matched the popularity of her previous shows.
Her most recent television role was in 2003 playing snooty suburban matron Margery opposite Eastender's Dot Cotton (June Brown) in one-off comedy-drama Margery and Gladys.
In 2007 she was awarded a CBE.
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