British actress Dame June Whitfield, famous as the mother of Jennifer Saunders' character on the cult hit "Absolutely Fabulous," died Friday night, the BBC reports. She was 93.
Her agent confirmed the actress, made a dame last year, had died "peacefully."
First on radio then on early TV in the U.K., Whitfield starred on the sitcom "Beggar My Neighbour" (1966-1968) and in four films in the popular "Carry On" series (1959-1992).
Her greatest successes were with the late Terry Scott on "Happy Ever After" (1974-1978) and "Terry and June" (1979-1987) before creating the role of Edina Monsoon's sarcastic mom "Gran" on "Ab Fab" in 1992, a role she played throughout the series' multiple returns to television and in the 2016 movie adaptation, "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie." It was her final role.
Last week, Whitfield appeared to be in good spirits during what turned out to be her last interview, granted to the BBC's David Hamilton.
We will replay what has sadly turned out to be #JuneWhitfield’s final interview, given to David Hamilton, as a tribute to a truly wonderful actress, Sunday 12-1pm. This was the special trailer June and David recorded to promote the programme. pic.twitter.com/K5NwOhPeaz— BBC Surrey (@BBCSurrey) December 29, 2018
Whitfield was remembered by fans and friends, including "Ab Fab" co-star Joanna Lumley, who told ITV News, "I am heartbroken to lose such a darling friend and shall never forget her sensational talent, humour and her generosity to us all who had the joy of working with her on 'Ab Fab.'"
Julia Sawalha, Whitfield's deadpan granddaughter on the show, tweeted her thanks to the late actress for "teaching me my craft."
Thank you #damejunewhitfield,for teaching me my craft with such grace and dignity.I always wanted you to know how in awe of you I was, however, you were always far too humble to accept my https://t.co/2wc2G3bQ0G were a great source of inspiration to me. Bye-bye Gran.🙏🏻💕— Julia Sawalha (@JuliaSawalha1) December 29, 2018