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Summary Article: Scales, Prunella
from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


Prunella Margaret Rumney Illingworth


♦ English actress

Born in Sutton Abinger, Surrey, she appeared on Broadway in The Matchmaker (1955) and with the company at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre (1956) before West End successes such as Hay Fever (1968) and Breezeblock Park (1977). On television, she starred as Kate Starling in Marriage Lines (1963-66), Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers (1975-79), Miss Elizabeth Mapp in Mapp & Lucia (1985-86), Sarah in After Henry (1988-92), Elizabeth II in A Question of Attribution (1991), Marjorie Richardson in The Rector's Wife (1994) and Mrs Tilston in Searching (1995). Her films include A Chorus of Disapproval (1989), An Awfully Big Adventure (1995) and Stiff Upper Lips (1997). She is married to the actor Timothy West and was awarded the CBE in 1992.

  • Ransom, Teresa, Prunella (2005).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011