Unless you’re not a fan of British theater and television or a younger generation, Ruth Madoc was one of the British sitcom legends. She’s fondly remembered for her role as Gladys Pugh in the British television sitcom, Hi-de-Hi!
Sometime in the previous week, it was announced that the actress was involved in a fall and sustained injuries. Unfortunately, not many details were released about how and where the fall occurred. Fans were only updated on her recovery process.
The actress underwent surgery for the injuries and was hopeful for a speedy recovery. However, on Friday, December 9, 2022, the actress died from complications from the fall. Phil Belfield confirmed the news.
A shocking exit
The news came as a shock to friends and colleagues. A day before her death, a post was shared on her official Instagram page with an update on her health. The Princess Theatre shared the same post in Torquay, Devon.
On Ruth Madoc’s Instagram page, she accompanied the announcement with a caption that read,
“Hiya, everyone, please don’t worry. I’m well and will soon be back to normal, but unfortunately, @princesstheatretorquay won’t get to have Empress Gladys in the Panto this Christmas !!! I’m doing well and will soon be back to normal! ♥️”
In confirmation of her death, part of Belfield’s statement read that she died “while in hospital following surgery for a fall she had earlier in the week.”
Ruth Madoc was a blessing to British television and will surely be missed. In honor of the legendary actress, let’s look at her life and career.
Ruth Madoc’s early years
Although popularly known as Ruth Madoc, the actress was born Margaret Ruth Llewellyn Baker. She was born on April 16, 1943, in Norwich, Norfolk, England. Both her parents, George and Iris Baker, worked in health care. Her father, George Baker, was an Administrator, while her mom, Iris Baker, was a nurse.
However, she was brought up by her grandparents because her parents often traveled around Europe. For her professional career as an actor, Madoc studied at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). The actress discovered in 2010 on the BBC Wales program Coming Home that she was related to David Lloyd George. David Lloyd George was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1922.
Ruth Madoc’s acting career
Ruth Madoc enjoyed a productive theater and television acting career. After training at RADA, Madoc spent the next three years of her life working on The Black and White Minstrel Show. Her film debut was playing Fruma Sarah in the 1971 movie adaptation of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. The following year, she played Mrs. Dai Bread Two in the film adaptation of Under Milk Wood.
She continued her career in theater and television, making a name for herself. Yet, no other character positively impacted her acting career like Gladys Pugh in Hi-de-Hi. In honor of her brilliant acting, Madoc received a BAFTA TV award nomination for Best Light Entertainment Performance.
In her honor, Belfield had nothing but praise for her exceptional acting skills and career. In his tribute, he said Madoc,
“was truly a national treasure, and I was looking forward to getting back on the road in 2023 with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. A real legend of the British entertainment scene, she was one of a kind and a unique talent loved by many. Unfortunately, she is gone far too soon. Our hearts are broken! Thoughts are with her daughter Lowri, her son Rhys, and her family.”
Ruth Madoc’s personal life
Ruth Madoc married her first husband, Philip Madoc, in 1961. Although they divorced in 1981, they both featured in the TV series, The Life and Times of David Lloyd George. The marriage was blessed with two kids. The 20-year marriage produced a son Rhys, and a daughter, Lowri.
By the following year, Madoc was already in love again and married John Jackson. Unfortunately, she never really got around to changing her last name from Madoc. Although the marriage had no kids, it lasted for 39 years until the death of Jackson in September 2021.
At the time of her death, Madoc was survived by her two kids, Rhys and Lowri.
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