Bebington born actress, Jean Boht, dies aged 91

Bebington-born actress, Jean Boht has died at the age of 91.

She was most famous for the role of Nellie Boswell in Carla Lane’s sitcom Bread.

The programme proved immensely popular, attracting 21 million viewers for a wedding episode in 1988, securing its position as the second most-watched show of the year, surpassed only by EastEnders.

A statement issued by her family said, “It is with overwhelming sadness that we must announce that Jean Boht passed away yesterday, Tuesday September 12.”

The statement added, “Jean had been battling vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with the indefatigable spirit for which she was both beloved and renowned.”

Boht was born on 6 March 1932 in Bebington, and was a pupil at Wirral Grammar School for Girls.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic issued a statement that read, “We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Jean Boht. We were honoured that Jean appeared with us in our Radio City and Summer Pops series and unveiled ‘The Liverpool Phil’ train for our 150th Anniversary. We have many fond memories of Jean and her late husband Carl.”

In a career spanning the period from 1962 to the 2020s, she appeared largely in television productions. These included Softly, Softly (1971), Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (1978), Grange Hill (1978), Last of the Summer Wine (1978) Boys from the Blackstuff (1982), Scully (1984), Juliet Bravo in the mid-1980s, and Bread (1986–91).

In 1989, she was the subject of This Is Your Life.

On stage, Boht appeared with Jeremy Irons in Embers (2006) at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London.

Boht also appeared in the film Mothers and Daughters (2004), and starred in Chris Shepherd’s award-winning short film Bad Night for the Blues (2010).

The Liverpool Film Office said, “We are all deeply saddened to hear of Jean Boht’s passing. We have lost one of our shining stars. Our thoughts are with her loved ones at this time.”

Her first marriage to William Boht ended in divorce. She then married the conductor and composer Carl Davis in 1970. They had two daughters. Davis died on 3 August 2023.

Boht had been diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and was a resident at Denville Hall, a retirement home in Northwood, London, for actors and other members of the entertainment industry. She died on 12 September 2023, aged 91.

Image credit: Simon Harries CC BY 2.0

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