Miss Pinewood was hugely pop­u­lar fig­ure

Au­drey ran the Carry On of­fice for nearly 25 years

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Bar­bara Fisher ed­i­to­ri­aluxbridge@trin­i­tysouth.co.uk

AU­DREY Skin­ner, dubbed Mrs Pinewood dur­ing her time work­ing at the film stu­dios, has died at the age of 87.

Au­drey was born in 1929 in Bow, east London, the youngest of five chil­dren.

She moved to Yiewsley at the out­break of World War two, and soon took a keen in­ter­est in the lo­cal am­a­teur dra­matic scene, join­ing a num­ber of youth the­atre groups.

After she was seen per­form­ing for St Cather­ine’s Youth Club at a lo­cal drama fes­ti­val in 1952, she was in­vited to join the well es­tab­lished Phoenix The­atre Group by James Skin­ner.

The fol­low­ing year she ap­peared in the play Laura, where she met her fu­ture hus­band Michael – James Skin­ner’s brother.

Michael was also a well-known ac­tor on the lo­cal drama scene.

They mar­ried in 1956 and re­mained so un­til Michael’s death in 2012.

She went on to ap­pear in 27 pro­duc­tions for Phoenix be­fore jointly set­ting up The­atre 7 – which be­came renowned in lo­cal drama cir­cles – and she per­formed reg­u­larly at the Beck The­atre, as well as the Com­pass, ap­pear­ing in more than 30 pro­duc­tions.

She won numer­ous best ac­tress awards at many drama fes­ti­vals at both lo­cal and national level, and was also a very suc­cess­ful the­atre pro­ducer.

She was awarded the Cer­tifi­cate of Merit for her con­tri­bu­tion to the arts and was also asked to ad­ju­di­cate many school pro­duc­tions and fes­ti­vals.

In her pro­fes­sional life, Au­drey worked at Pinewood Stu­dios for more than 33 years, firstly at Zoom Tele­vi­sion, but was best known for her work with the Carry On films, where she ran the Carry On of­fice for nearly 25 years, work­ing for pro­duc­ers Ger­ald Thomas and Peter Rogers.

Au­drey was a hugely pop­u­lar fig­ure at the stu­dios and was a muchloved friend there to both cast and crews alike.

She was once hu­mor­ously dubbed ‘Mrs Pinewood’ by Pierce Bros­nan, a ti­tle that stuck with her through­out.

De­spite her life­long act­ing cre­den­tials, she re­mained hum­ble al­ways in her pro­fes­sional ca­pac­ity and con­fessed, as a life­long film fan, to be­ing star struck through­out her time at Pinewood, de­spite work­ing there into her mid-70s.

She spent her re­tire­ment in Iver Heath where she had lived for more than 25 years, but in re­cent years fought a long bat­tle with Alzheimer’s.

She died on Jan­uary 22 at Wex­ham Park Hospi­tal fol­low­ing a short ill­ness.

She is sur­vived by her two chil­dren An­gela and Chris, as well as grand­chil­dren Matthew and An­thony and great grand­chil­dren Grace and Max.

Her fu­neral will be held on Wed­nes­day Fe­bru­ary 15 from 12.15pm at Our Lady of Lour­des Church, Uxbridge.

Fam­ily flow­ers only but do­na­tions to the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety will be very wel­come.

These can be sent to the fu­neral di­rec­tors W Sherry & Sons, 225-226 High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1GB.

POP­U­LAR FIG­URE: Au­drey Skin­ner, who was well-known dur­ing her time at Pinewood

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