Actress Moira Lister has died aged 84 after a short illness.
A regular in the first series of Hancock’s Half Hour, she starred opposite Noel Coward in the stage production of Present Laughter in 1947. She also won awards and critical acclaim for her roles in West End shows such as Move Over, Mrs Markham.
In recent years she toured the UK with her one-woman show about Noel Coward before returning to South Africa, where she was born. In a career of well over
half a century, the actress appeared in more than 30 films, and several radio and television series. Radio stalwart Born in Cape Town in 1923, she was given acting lessons as a child and made her debut with the University Players of Johannesburg at the age of six, playing a Prince in The Vikings of Helgeland.
She first appeared on the London stage at 14 and began her film career in 1945 starring alongside Rex Harrison in The Yellow Rolls Royce (1964) and Yul Brynner in The Double Man (1967). Her distinctive, husky voice made Lister a radio stalwart and was often a star guest in TV shows such as The Avengers, Call My Bluff and Juke Box Jury. In 1967 Alan Melville created the highly successful TV sitcom The Very Merry Widow for her that ran for three years. She published her autobiography, called The Very Merry Moira, in 1969. The actress married the Vicomte d’Orthez, a French officer, in 1951 and the marriage lasted until his death in 1989. She is survived by her two daughters Chantal and Christobel.