Who was Jean Boht? Was she married and did she have any children? As Bread actress passes away aged 91
Jean Boht, best known for playing Nellie Boswell in sitcom Bread, passed away aged 91 on Wednesday.
The actress, who had been battling dementia before her death on September 12, played straight-talking the family matriarch – a character famed for the recurring catchphrase ‘She is a tart!’
Set in the heart of Liverpool, the hugely popular show documented the mixed fortunes of the working class Boswell family during a period of mass unemployment in the 1980s.
Jean was living at the prestigious actors’ retirement home Denville Hall in Hillingdon, North-West London, her family said in a statement, as they said ‘grateful thanks’ to the staff who ‘made her so comfortable’.
So, who was Jean Boht? Here, MailOnline takes a look into the life of Bread’s biggest star.
Who was Jean Boht?
Jean was born in Bebington, Merseyside, on 6 March 1932.
She began her career as a £1-a-week student at the Liverpool Playhouse and went on to join the Bristol Old Vic and Manchester Companies.
Jean then returned to Liverpool to star alongside Sir Anthony Hopkins, Lynda La Plante and Sir Patrick Stewart.
Jean moved to London in 1964 just as the West End was welcoming actors with regional accents.
She moved to London in 1964 just as the West End was welcoming actors with regional accents.
She also starred at the Royal Court, the National Theatre and at the Chichester Festival, as well as numerous West End theatres.
Her film roles included appearances in The Girl In A Swing, Bad Night For The Blues and Mothers And Daughters.
But it was her role on Bread, created by Carla Lane, for which she was best known.
The show, which ran from 1986 until 1991, was watched by more than 20 million people at its peak and Boht won a British Comedy Award for best TV comedy actress.
Set in the Liverpool neighbourhood of Dingle, Bread followed the ups and downs of the working class Boswell family, and was arguably Lane’s finest television creation.
In her role as head of the family, Boht’s character was often seen opening a chicken-shaped egg holder prior to the evening meal, into which her children would place money for their upkeep.
She also spent time battling to keep her estranged husband out of the arms of ‘that tart’ Lilo Lil.
At its peak, Bread had 21million viewers, more than Coronation Street.
Was Jean married and did she have any children?
Jean married Carl Davis in 1970. The couple had two children and three grandchildren.
Carl worked alongside Paul McCartney on his Liverpool Oratorio and conducted the premiere in 1991.
His vast catalogue of work, which includes five musicals and numerous ballet scores – Christmas Carol, Cyrano and Alice In Wonderland are all currently on tour – earned him a CBE.
The couple lived in Chelsea in a four-storey 18th Century townhouse with a former factory in the garden which they converted into a studio and offices for Carl’s business.
The conductor and composer behind shows including the BBC‘s 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, died aged 86 in early August, just weeks before Jean.