Tuesday, 8 December 2015

RIP Shirley Stelfox

News of another sad passing; Shirley Stelfox has died from cancer aged 74.

Stelfox had played prim village spinster Edna Birch in the ITV soap Emmerdale for the last 15 years (pictured below) where she gained legions of soap fans and kept her famous long golden hair hidden under her character's trademark hat.

It was a brilliant cast-against-type role for the mature glamour Stelfox usually exuded with credits in the excellent Making Out, Keeping up Appearances, Pat and Margaret and Common as Muck, as well as her most famous film role as prostitute Shirley (see below) in the veiled Cynthia Payne biopic Personal Services alongside its star Julie Walters.

Stelfox had been married to that great actor Don Henderson until his death, also from cancer, in 1997 and the pair often appeared together on television.



  1. RIP indeed. I dont watch EMMERDALE but have seen her in so many roles, she was indeed amazing in PERSONAL SERVICES.

  2. It's been a cruel month, so far, with the loss of Shirley following on from Nicholas Smith & Anthony Valentine.

    One by one, the character actors of yesteryear are leaving the stage. Sad, if inevitable.