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13 November 2014

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You are in: Tees > People > Profiles > Local stars of stage and screen

The damaged and confused Hallam

The damaged and confused Hallam

Local stars of stage and screen

Glitz and glamour may not spring to mind when you mention our area, but a lot of talented people have come from Teesside. Take a look at the locals who have made it good and let BBC Tees know if there is anyone we have missed.

Wendy Richard   1943-2009

As EastEnders' downtrodden Pauline Fowler with her beige cardigan, laundry bags and bottle-blonded efforts at glamour, Wendy Richard, who has died aged 65, was one of Britain's most recognisable actresses.

According to her many fansites, she hated being known as a frump, which is unsurprising considering that Middlesbrough born Wendy used to be famous for playing the minxy Miss Brahms in 'Are you being served' and not a sour-faced launderette worker.

Gloria Hunniford & Wendy Richard

With Wendy Richard

Born Wendy Emerton in Middlesbrough but raised in London, she was educated at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth.

Wendy had originally wanted to be an archaeologist. She left school at 15, though, and worked in the fashion department of luxury Piccadilly store Fortnum and Mason.

She left to study drama at the Italia Conti Stage Academy in London and decided to change her surname to Richard because "it was short and neat".

Her leggy, blonde looks soon secured her a role in the Albert Finney film Gumshoe, and on television she appeared in The Likely Lads, Dad's Army and Please Sir.

Other credits included Bless This House, Help and On the Buses. And she carried on with Sid James and his team in the hit films Carry On Girls and Carry On Matron.

For her contribution to entertainment, she was awarded an MBE in the Millennium Honours List.

Ridley Scott

Although he was born in Northumberland in 1937, Ridley is an honorary Teessider, due to being educated at the West Hartlepool College of Art and London's Royal College of Art. His first film features him and his brother riding round Hartlepool docks and parts of Bladerunner were filmed in the industrial area round here.

As director of Thelma and Louise, Hannibal and Gladiator, he is perhaps one of Teesside's most glamorous ex-pats.

Stephen Tompkinson

One of Stephen's many characters

Stephen Tompkinson

Since landing the role as Damien Day in the satirical Drop The Dead Donkey, Stephen Tompkinson's rarely been off our TV screens.

He was Father Peter Clifford in the first three series of Ballykissangel, starred in the film Brassed Off, and more recently played the lead role in the ITV adaptation of Kingsley Amis' Lucky Jim.

Born in Stockton in 1965, Stephen is keen supporter of the Boro and currently lives in West Sussex.

Paul Daniels

Although he threatened to leave the UK if Labour got in, Paul Daniels did manage to leave his native South Bank.

Paul is now living in the South of England with his wife 'the lovely' Debbie McGee. Although his recent ballet venture proved fruitless, his appearance on Louis Theroux provided an entertaining insight into his magical world.

Richard Griffiths

Now known as Uncle Vernon

Richard Griffiths

Most recently seen as the awful Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter films, Richard Griffiths has carved out a successful career as a character actor, perhaps most memorably for those of a certain age as the lusty Uncle Monty in Withnail and I (1987).

Born in Thornaby, he has had a long TV and stage career and has also popped up in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) and used his canny knack for dialect to take on two roles as Dr Mannheimer/Earl Hacker in Naked Gun 2 ½.

Jamie Bell

Combining dancing whilst being a normal north east lad would be a challenge for most people, but Billingham born Jamie Bell managed to make a successful career out of a taboo subject.

Born into a family of dancers in 1986, he was encouraged to join his sisters dance class when he was 6 and this training and the predictable teasing from his classmates prepared him for the role of Billy Elliott, which he beat more than 2000 lads to. Last seen in Deathwatch and Nicholas Nickleby, he's a local talent who has far to go.

Thelma Barlow

Thelma swapped cobbles for canteens

Thelma Barlow

After appearing in almost 2000 episodes of Coronation Street, Thelma Barlow is always going to be known as Mavis Riley.

Since leaving the Street she has worked on Dinnerladies and currently lives in North Yorkshire.

last updated: 27/02/2009 at 11:12
created: 18/12/2007

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