Friday Night Dinner grandma Frances Nuka has died at the age of 83.
Frances who played the loveable and hilarious grandma Nelly Buller in the Channel 4 comedy died on 16 February according to an obituary published by The Guardian on Thursday, although a cause of death hasn’t been confirmed.
She was more recently known for playing Jackie’s (Tamsin Greig) mother Nelly, but she had a 50-year career as an actress.
Not only did she star on the West End stage, but she also had recurring roles in the soap operas Crossroads and Coronation Street.
Her film roles have included Scrooge (1970) as Bob Cratchit’s wife, and Henry VIII and his Six Wives (1972) as Catherine of Aragon.
In television, Frances was the second actress to play Peggy Mitchell in the BBC soap EastEnders, when the character was first introduced in 1991 and had filmed several scenes before she was axed and her scenes were scrapped, with Jo Warne being cast instead.
Frances played the recurring role of a troublesome tramp called Mrs Bassey in the popular medical drama Casualty from 2006 to 2009 when her character died from severe burns after being involved in an explosion at a shopping centre.
The actress was born in London, the only child of Joseph Cuka, a process engraver of Czech antecedence, and his wife Letitia (nee Francis), a tailor.
She trained at the Guildhall school of music and drama and made her stage debut in 1955 as Effie in a murder thriller, Meet Mr. Callaghan, at the Royal Court, Warrington.
Robert Popper, creator of Friday Night Dinner has led the way with tributes as he wrote: ‘Terribly sad that our wonderful Friday Night Dinner Grandma, Frances Cuka, has passed away.’
Fans of the Channel 4 show quickly took to Twitter to share their condolences.
One commented: ‘Sad, always remember her getting her hair caught in the car door! Classic Wilson’s 2nd Hand stew licking, I could go on, so much laughter, great actress.’
Another tweeted: ‘Was watching the episode the other day when she was dancing with Simon Bird, so funny such a sad loss.’
A third added: ‘That is so sad. Thinking of you all. So sad but she gave us so many laughs as Grandma. I’ll never forget the bikini…’