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Obituary: Gabrielle Blunt

If the film career promised by her sparkling debut in the 1949 comedy Whisky Galore! never quite materialised, Gabrielle Blunt found theatre and television more productive arenas throughout a career spanning six decades.

Her small-screen breakthrough came with the 1968 George Cole-starring comedy A Man of Our Times, after which she moved comfortably between comedy and drama. In later years, she was regularly to be found in hit comedies including Shine on Harvey Moon, One Foot in the Grave, Drop the Dead Donkey, The Fast Show, Harry Enfield’s Television Programme and Paul Merton – The Series.

Blunt began her theatre career in regional rep in the early 1940s, and toured Europe with the Entertainments National Service Association in 1945. That same year, she was seen in Vanbrugh’s The Confederacy at the York Festival.

Later appearances included Irene Coates’ This Space is Mine (Hampstead Theatre, 1969); Mrs Jeffcote in Hindle Wakes (Northampton Rep, 1972); Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Niggers (Palace Theatre, Westcliffe, 1975); Under Milk Wood (Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead, 1980), Duchess of Malfi (Oxford Playhouse, 1983); and Ayshe Raif’s Fail/Safe (Soho Poly, 1986).

In 1998, Blunt toured the UK and Europe in Out of Joint’s premiere of Caryl Churchill’s Blue Heart, travelling with it to New York the following year.

Gabrielle Hilda Blunt was born on January 8, 1919. She died, aged 95, on June 10.

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