Emmerdale and Hollyoaks star Georgina Hale dies aged 80

10 January 2024, 21:50 | Updated: 10 January 2024, 21:53

Georgina Hale
Georgina Hale. Picture: Alamy/Getty
Sukhmani Sethi

By Sukhmani Sethi

Bafta-winning actress Georgina Hale has died at the age of 80 as fans mourn the television star and pay their respects in a flood of tributes.

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The actress, who also received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination was best known for her roles in Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, died on January 4.

Hale was known for her TV performances in programmes including Doctor Who, Budgie, One Foot in The Grave, Minder, The Bill and A Rather English Marriage.

Grieving fans took to social media to pay their respects to the actress, sharing their best memories of the TV star’s work spanning six decades.

One fan wrote: “Sad news, Georgina Hale has gone to the great cinema in the sky. She will always be ‘Mrs Budgie’ to us, but she was so much more, Georgina will be so missed.”

Another wrote: “Georgina Hale was a big part of my childhood. The Happiness Patrol was one of the first Doctor Who stories I fell in love with & watched it over and over again. About to watch it again this week in my latest marathon, too.”

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Georgina Hale in Mahler
Georgina Hale in Mahler. Picture: Alamy

Doctor Who actor Colin Baker, who played the sixth incarnation of the Doctor, wrote: “RIP the wonderful and unique Georgina Hale. I never worked with her alas but [loved] her work. She was two months younger than me!”

Bafta also penned a tribute to the actress and said: “We’re saddened to learn of the passing of Georgina Hale.

“Well known for her award-winning work in the films of Ken Russell, she was awarded Most Promising Newcomer To Leading Film Roles in 1975.”

Born in Ilford, Essex, in 1943, Hale landed her first major TV appearances in plays filmed for ITV Playhouse, Play of the Week and The Wednesday Play.

In 1990, she played villainous, tea-drinking sorceress T-Bag for the much-loved children's programme named after her character.

The actress also appeared in Ken Russell’s 1974 film Mahler.

The TV and film star was an accomplished thespian, treading the boards at various theatres across the country and receiving a nomination for an Olivier Award in 1981 for her performance in Neil Dunn's play Steaming at the Comedy Centre, London.

Hale married late actor John Forgeham in 1964, but the marriage came to an end and the pair divorced.