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Ann Emery, Original 'Grandma' in West End's BILLY ELLIOT, Passes Away

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that actress Ann Emery, who originated the role of 'Grandma' in the West End's Billy Elliot - THE MUSICAL, died today, September 29, 2016. She was 86.

Director Stephen Daldry shared the following statement on her passing:

"Ann Emery has been at the heart of the Billy Elliot family for over a decade. She created the role of Grandma over 11 years ago, and has been central to the lives of hundreds of children who performed with her.

"Her zest for life, professional experience and care for the often very young performers who she worked with was truly exceptional. She will be have a special place in all our hearts as an 'old pro', who never seemed old and never took the profession for granted.

"She was herself a child of the theatre, whose enthusiasm and joy was always apparent. Her first appearance at the Victoria palace was in the Crazy Gang in the 1930's. It was also where she gave her last much celebrated performance in Billy Elliot.

"She will be remembered fondly, and today deeply missed. What a treat it was to have known her." - Stephen Daldry

Aside from having worked with all 39 of London's 'Billy Elliots', Emery starred in the West End as 'Mother Dear' in BETTY BLUE EYES, 'Mrs. Hopkins' in MY FAIR LADY and 'Hortense' in MARTIN GUERRE.

Her extensive theatre credits include HARD TIMES at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and CATS at the New London Theatre. Emery's first stage role as in BABES IN THE WOOD at the King's Theatre, Hammersmith.

She is also well known for her role as 'Ethel Meaker' in the BCC children's TV show RENTAGHOST. Among Emery's other TV credits are JULIA JEKYLL AND HARRIET HYDE and RADIO ROO, as well as a guest appearance on the comedy THE DICK EMERY SHOW.

Photo Credit: Alastair Muir

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