Jean Boht, best known for her role as matriarch Nellie Boswell in the 1980s television sitcom Bread, has passed away at the age of 91.
Boht additionally appeared in the comedies I Woke Up One Morning and Brighton Belles, as well as the drama Boys From the Blackstuff.
The news arrives one month after her spouse, the composer Carl Davis, passed away.
The family of Jean Boht released the following statement: “It is with profound sadness that we must inform you that she passed away on Tuesday, September 12.”
Jean fought vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with the indomitable character for which she was both revered and renowned, according to the statement.
Born in Bebington on the Wirral, Boht began her stage career in the early 1960s at the Liverpool Playhouse before performing throughout the United Kingdom.
On television, she played Mrs. Leivers in a 1981 adaptation of DH Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers, as well as a benefits office manager in Alan Bleasdale’s groundbreaking Boys From the Blackstuff.
A role in I Woke Up One Morning, a sitcom about alcoholics in recovery, led to her casting in Bread, also written by Carla Lane.
She quickly became known throughout the nation as the formidable Nellie Boswell, who continually attempted to maintain order in her large Liverpool family.
The program was a big success, with 21 million viewers tuning in to witness a wedding episode in 1988 – making it the second most popular show of that year, behind only EastEnders.
She told the Liverpool Echo in 2012, “I never watched it at the time because it’s too horrifying for actors to see themselves on screen, so I had no idea what it looked like.”
“But now that I’ve seen it, I am astounded by how good and funny it was,” she continued.
Boht was designated BBC TV Personality in 1988 by the Variety Club of Great Britain, and she won the British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actress in 1990.
Golden Girls Remake
She also appeared in the acclaimed 1988 film Distant Voices, Still Lives by Terence Davies. Alongside Sheila Hancock, Wendy Craig, and Sheila Gish, she earned a starring role in the 1993 British adaptation of The Golden Girls, Brighton Belles.
Boht portrayed Josephine, the new incarnation of Estelle Getty’s Sophia in the original American production. However, the UK adaptation was unsuccessful.
Later, she asserted that portraying five distinct roles in the BBC’s medical soap opera Doctors was a record for the show, and she continued performing on stage, including in Embers with Jeremy Irons in London’s West End in 2006.
According to a statement released by her family, she resided at Denville Hall, a London care facility for actors and other members of the entertainment industry.