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Josephine Tewson: 8 Fascinating Things About The British Actress!

Josephine Tewson

British actress Josephine Tewson is a TV and stage legend who is known for portraying roles such as Elizabeth “Liz” Warden, one of Hyacinth Cube’s long-suffering neighbors in Keeping Up (1990-1995) and Miss Davenport in Last Summer Wine (2003–10). She has had an incredible career in British television roles, which we will discuss in this article, along with some personal details about her life. 

Josephine Tewson Bio: From Small Roles To The Big Screen! 

1. Josephine Tewson childhood:

Josephine Tewson was born on February 26, 1931 as Josephine Ann Tewson. The young girl didn’t know that she would soon conquer the British Television industry! 

2. She had very interesting parents:

Tewson was born in the London borough of Hampstead. Her father, William, was a musician and a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, while her mother worked as a nurse. Most interestingly, she is related to Haydn Morley, who captained Sheffield Wednesday in the 1890 FA Cup final.

3. Tewson took lessons at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art:

After elementary school, Tewson was educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from which she graduated in 1952. 

4. Marriage and love life:

She was married to actor Leonard Rossiter and the two only stayed married from 1959 to 1961, as the couple divorced in 1961. 

Then she married Henry Newman for the second time. The marriage lasted from 1972 until Newman’s death in 1980. 

5. Tewson has been on the London theater scene since 1957:

The British actress’s significant repertoire includes roles such as that of Mrs. Prism in Oscar Wilde’s play Being Serious is Everything. 

At first, she was known to a larger audience as a supporting actress in numerous comedy television series. Then, Tewson was able to celebrate an international success with the ensemble of the sitcom Mehr Schein als Sein. This role helped her attain a large fan base in many countries around the world. 

Tewson also gained fame by playing the role of the nervous Elizabeth, a neighbor and friend of the snob Hyacinth Bucket, played by Patricia Routledge. 

A regular comedy actor in sketches with Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker in David Frost Sunday and Listen to Barker (1969), she later appeared on Mostly Monkhouse, a BBC Radio comedy show with David Jason supporting Bob Monkhouse. 

She also appeared a few times in Z Cars (1963-1969) and the Charlie Drake show (1968). Tewson portrayed the role of Edna Hawkins (usually referred to as Mrs. H by Shelley) in the first six series of the British comedy Shelley(1979-1982). 

Later, she portrayed the role of Jane Travers in the Ronnie Barker sitcom: Clarence (1988), who also wrote, and was his last leading role on television before his retirement.

6. Josephine Tewson’s major work:

Tewson is best known for her long-running and popular British television roles such as  Elizabeth Warden, neighbor and reluctant confidant of social wannabe Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up. 

The British actress appeared in nearly every episode of Series 5, providing an often choppy but pragmatic counterattack to the scattered and disoriented “Mrs. Bucket”.

Tewson appeared with John Inman in Strange Man Outside (1977), an unsuccessful sitcom, where they played half-brother/half-sister roles. The actress was rumored to be Inman’s cousin, although she has denied this notion in several interviews. 

The British actor also appeared in the 1984 children’s film Gabrielle and the Doodleman as the characters Mrs. Briggs (who is Gabrielle’s father’s housekeeper) and the Fairy Godmother. 

Tewson was featured regularly as Miss Davenport in Last Summer Wine (2003-10). This is a series which was penned by Roy Clarke who also wrote Keeping Up. 

She has also appeared in two episodes of the documentary series named Comedy Connections, talking about her work in Maintaining Appearances (2004) and opposite The Two Ronnies (2005). 

In 2009, she played the role of Iris in the radio drama named Leaves in Autumn scripted and developed by Susan Casanove and produced by the Wireless Theater Company.

7. What else has Josephine Tewson been in?

Her other television appearances were in an episode of Heartbeat (“Closing The Book”, 2002) and as a contest judge, Samantha Johnstone, in an episode of the mystery drama Midsomer Murders (“Judgment Day”, 2000). 

The English actress was also featured in two episodes of Doctors as a kleptomaniac, Audrey Wilson, (“Now You See It …”, 2009) and as Marjorie Page, a woman in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (“The gorilla with glasses”, 2012). 

Tewson acted in the role of a babysitter in a 30-second commercial for Nabisco Fruit Newtons, which first was broadcast in 1997 in the United States. 

You can also catch the British actress as a school teacher in the Sugar Bites Advertisement for “I Want My Honey” in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

In 2012, Tewson launched and premiered her one-woman show Are You Still Keeping Up? and toured the UK.

8. Where is Josephine Tewson in 2021?

Tewson is still present in various formats today. The English actress has also toured the country with its own One Woman Show.

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