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SHE HAD HER DOWN TO A 'T' World of showbiz mourns Thatcher mimic Janet.

Byline: Keith McLeod

THE Scots actress who made millions laugh with her telly impersonations of Margaret Thatcher died yesterday.

Janet Brown passed away in her sleep in a nursing home.

The 87-year-old star had been in showbiz since the 1930s but it was her take on the hardline Tory prime minister in the 70s and 80s that made her a household name.

Her agent Susan Angel said: "She was delightful and we will all miss her very much.

"Her knowledge of sport was second to none. We will miss the endless discussions about football and her fellow Scot, the tennis star Andy Murray."

Born in Rutherglen, near Glasgow, Janet travelled the length and breadth of the UK and beyond working in theatre, radio and television.

The star married Carry On actor Peter Butterworth in 1947 and the couple were together until his death in 1979.

They had a son, the actor Tyler Butterworth, and daughter Emma, who died in 1996 aged 34.

During her career, Janet worked with stars such as TV icon Hughie Green, comedian Tony Hancock and Minder actor George Cole. But she became a huge star in the mid-1970s after Thatcher became leader of the Tories.

Janet spent hours perfecting the Iron Lady's voice and mannerisms, and wove numerous one-liner Thatcher-style put-downs into her act.

Movie She performed on hit shows such as the Mike Yarwood Show - which had a Saturday night audience of 14million during its peak in the late 1970s - and BBC radio's the News Huddlines.

In 1981, she played Thatcher in the Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.

Six years later, she wrote her autobiography Prime Mimicker, chronicling her childhood and career as impressionist.

More recently, she appeared in shows including Midsomer Murders, Casualty and Hotel Babylon.

And she was still working until to September 2007. Her last role was as Lady Squeamish at the Theare Royal Haymarket in London's West End in The Country Wife.

Following the death of her husband, Janet never remarried and settled in Hove, Sussex, where she died.


STAR: With Peter and, right, her impression of Sybil from Fawlty Towers PRIME OF HER LIFE: Janet was a telly hit with her Thatcher impression
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 28, 2011
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