About Yootha Joyce Needham
<The Times, August 30, 1980>
Miss Yootha Joyce, the actress, died on August 24, in a London hospital at the age of 53.
She had currently been starring in the part of Mildred in the highly successful ITV comedy series, "George and Mildred" with Brian Murphy as George.
The series sprang from an earlier popular series, "Man about the House" in which the characters of George and Mildred, as landlord and landlord's wife, acted as foils to the younger players, Richard O'Sullivan, Paula Wilcox and Sally Thomsett, as the occupants of the flat above. It is often said that there are few good women comedians in Britain but if true, certainly Yootha Joyce was one of the few; caustic but warm-hearted she knew how to make the most of an ironic line; this was abundantly plain when she played Mildred, the frustrated, childless, wife of the ineffectual George, skilfully acted by Brian Murphy.
An only child born in South London of musical parents, she confessed in later life that she could neither sing nor dance and had a disappointing period at RADA but managed none the less, to build a career in entertainment appearing on radio, in repertory and touring.
Her big break came from a chance given by her by Miss Joan Littlewood in "Fings Aint what they Used To Be" put on at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East and subsequently transferred to the West End.