Edna Doré

Edna Lillian Doré was born (31 May 1921 and died 11 April 2014) was a British actress. Doré was known for her bit-part roles in situation comedies and for playing the character of Mo Butcher in EastEnders (1988–90).

Doré began her career as a chorus girl in ENSA, before joining the wartime company of Phyllis Dixey at theWhitehall Theatre as a dancer. She later spent seventeen years in repertory theatre before becoming a member of the National Theatre for ten years, especially remembered for her roles in productions directed by Bill Brydensuch as The Mysteries. She turned to television acting in 1960 and subsequently had parts in many successful series, including Dixon of Dock Green, Doctor in the House, The Liver Birds, Terry and June, Tenko, Z-Cars, andOpen All Hours.

In 1988 she starred in Mike Leigh's award winning film High Hopes, for which she received the award for Best Supporting Player at the 1989 European Film Awards. Here, she played Mrs. Bender, who suffers from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. That year she was also cast in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, where she playedMo Butcher, the battleaxe mother of Mike Reid's character, Frank Butcher. During her time in the show, she once again received wide acclaim for her portrayal of an elderly lady's descent into Alzheimer's disease. The story—about the effect that Alzheimer's has on the sufferer's family—had to be curtailed when Doré decided to leave the programme in 1990. The character was killed off at the end of 1992. In 1997 she played Kath in Nil by Mouth. Other film credits include Tube Tales (1999), Weak at Denise (2001) and All or Nothing (2002).

In later years she had parts in many television shows including: Love Hurts (1992), A Year in Provence (1993), Casualty (1993;1997), Men Behaving Badly(1997), Peak Practice (2000), Holby City (2001), Time Gentlemen Please (2000–2002), The Bill (2002;2003 & 2006), Eyes Down (2003–2004), Murder in Mind(2003), My Family (2004), Lilly Kinsey in All About George (2005), Hotel Babylon (2006) and Doctors (2006), among others. She played the role of Maeve in theDoctor Who episode "Fear Her" in June 2006.

In September 2006 she appeared in the BBC2 comedy sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look and in April 2007 she appeared in a guest star role oppositeDavid Jason in ITV's Diamond Geezer, playing the role of Violet. On 24 December 2008 she appeared in the Christmas special of Gavin & Stacey as Edna, Pete's mother, once again playing a character affected by dementia. In February 2009 she held a small role in an episode of the new series of Minder on Five. She also played Grace in the Easter movie Skellig. In January 2010 she appeared as Nin Gallagher in Channel 4's Shameless. That same year she appeared in Mike Leigh's film Another Year. In March 2011 she appeared in an episode of Midsomer Murders.

Doré was also a radio actor and has appeared in a BBC Radio 4 Play of the day "Bringing Eddie Home" by John Peacock, based on a true story of the fight by Eastend couple Edna and Jack Wallace to get their son's body brought home from Aden, and the ensuing fight for the rights of British service personnel. The play also included other ex-EastEnders actors Bill Treacher, Tilly Vosburgh, Todd Carty and Joe Absolom. In February and March 1998, she appeared in the BBC Radio 4 series Paradise Lost in Cyberspace.

Doré lived in Barnes. She married the actor, stage director and writer Alexander Doré in 1946 in St Pancras, London and remained with him until his death in 2002. Her son, Michael Doré, owns a pub in Sussex. Doré trained to be an actress with Anna Wing, who was known for playing Lou Beale in EastEnders. She died on 11 April 2014 at the age of 92, from emphysema.

Known For


Cast Credits

Doctor Who (2005)
Guest starring as Maeve
Time Gentlemen Please (2000)
Guest starring as Prof's Mum (5 episodes)
Midsomer Murders (1997)
Guest starring as Granny Brightwell
Casualty (1986)
Guest starring as Mrs. Whiting
Guest starring as Grace Harper
Guest starring as Joan Hughes
  • Episode 11x20: Treasure (Jan 25, 1997)
EastEnders (1985)
Starring as Mo Butcher