|Born||5 July 1946|
Levenshulme, Manchester, England
|Died||8 September 2022 (aged 76)|
Brighton, East Sussex, England
|Education||Goldsmiths, University of London|
Gwyneth Powell (5 July 1946 – 8 September 2022) was an English actress. She was best known for her portrayal of headmistress Bridget McClusky in the BBC television series Grange Hill for eleven series between 1981 and 1991.
Powell was born on 5 July 1946 in Levenshulme, Manchester, and attended Cheadle County Grammar School for Girls, during which time she appeared to some acclaim as Fat Urs in the National Youth Theatre's production of Ben Jonson's Bartholemew Fair. She originally trained as a teacher at Goldsmiths, University of London, but instead chose to act in repertory theatre.
Powell's first major television role was in the 1971 LWT dystopian drama series, The Guardians. She was a regular, if minor, player in many television dramas until being cast in Grange Hill, in which she played the "firm but fair" headmistress Bridget ("The Midget") McClusky for eleven years. Of her role, she said in 2008:
At first Mrs McClusky was written as a 'twin set and pearls' role but I was quite young at the time and didn't want to play it like that. We started with the clothes and she was quite fashion conscious and chic. I was told by lots of people she was a great fillip to young women teachers who started applying for headships. The show had repercussions in all kinds of ways and the character did too. My period did coincide with the Thatcher years. I think Mrs McClusky became memorable because we had a prime minister like that.
Eventually, however, Powell wanted to pursue other interests and gave the Grange Hill producers and writers a year to write McClusky out of the series. She bought the rights to E. M. Delafield's Diary of a Provincial Lady and adapted it as a self-financed one-woman show in Edinburgh, also touring the production.
Since then, Powell appeared in other television programmes such as Heartbeat, A Touch of Frost, Holby City, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and Father Brown, and in 2008, Echo Beach. She played the role of a school teacher in a Victorian School Day in an episode of the BBC Schools TV series Watch. In 2009, using archive footage, coupled with some newly recorded lines, Powell reprised her Grange Hill role as Mrs McClusky for a cameo appearance in an episode of Ashes to Ashes, set in 1982. She also appeared in Arsenic and Old Lace at the Salisbury Playhouse. In 2010, Powell starred as Nana in The Gemma Factor. Subsequently, in 2011–2013, she became a support character in the teen programme House of Anubis, playing the role of Nina Martin's gran who ends up in hospital but is later released. She featured in seven episodes. In 2013 she took the role of Greg Davies' mother Polly Davies in the Channel 4 comedy Man Down.
|1969||Rogues' Gallery||Second Lady||1 episode|||
|1971||The Guardians||Clare Weston||11 episodes|
|1972||Z Cars||Jean Knight||1 episode|
|1972||Rest assured: Lift Off||Mrs Johnson||TV film|
|1973||Putting on the Agony||Gill||TV film|
|1973||ITV Sunday Knight Theatre||Willy|
|1974||A Raging Calm||Agnes Sutton||TV mini series, 4 episodes|
|1974||Father Brown||Helen Smaill||1 episode|
|1975||Play for Today||Elvira Lewis||1 episode|
|1975||Public Eye||Clare||1 episode|
|1975||Beryl's Lot||Anita||2 episodes|
|1976||Couples||Lynn Baker||TV series, 6 episodes|
|1972–1976||Dixon of Dock Green||Val Colebrook (1972), Mrs Regan (1972), Anne Hastings (1973), Diane Barnet (1979), Jane Mason (1976)||TV series, 5 episodes|
|1976||Face of Darkness||Eileen|
|1976||Coronation Street||Diana Kenton||3 episodes|
|1976||Emmerdale||Julie Croft||Guest role|
|1978||ITV Playhouse||Doreen||1 episode|
|1978||People Like Us||Frances Hopkins||5 episodes|
|1978||Accident||Betty Richards||3 episodes|
|1978–1980||Armchair Thriller||Woman PC (1978),Doris (1980)||6 episodes|
|1980||The Enigma Files||Anne Gerrard||1 episode|
|1980||Can We Get on Now, Please?||1 episode|
|1982||Squadron||Margaret Gran||4 episodes|
|1982, 1984||The Gentle Touch||DI Mary Woods||2 episodes|
|1986||Chance in a Million||Maureen||1 episode|
|1980–1991||Grange Hill||Mrs McClusky||169 episodes|
|1994||Open Fire||Gloria Martin||TV film|
|1996||Hetty Wainthropp Investigates||Marian Horner||1 episode|
|1997||A Touch of Frost||Kitty Rayford||3 episodes|
|1998||Magic with Everything||Aunt Matilda||TV Series|
|1998, 2002||Peak Practice||Annie Gibson (1998), Rose Meredith (2002)||2 episodes|
|1999||A Kind of Hush||Mrs P.|
|2001, 2006||Holby City||Jean (2001), Margaret Tanner (2006)||2 episodes|
|2001||Back to the Secret Garden||Toby the Maid||Film|
|2003||Family Affairs||Judge Yardley||1 episode|
|2003, 2006||Doctors||Janet Armstrong (2003), Janice Wilson (2006)||Guest roles|
|2004||Down to Earth||Mrs Dean||1 episode|
|2004, 2009||Heartbeat||Shirley Baxter (2004), Margaret Millwood (2009)||2 episodes|
|2004||The Royal||Bunty Weatherill||1 episode|
|2005||Emmerdale||Sophie Kidderminster||Guest role|
|2008||Echo Beach||Ivy Trehearne||11 episodes|
|2009||Ashes to Ashes||Mrs McClusky||1 episode, archive footage with newly recorded audio from Powell.|
|2010||The Gemma Factor||Nana||6 episodes|
|2011||Little Crackers||Headmistress||1 episode|
|2012||House of Anubis||Nina's Grandmother||7 episodes|
|2013||The Matt Lucas Awards||Herself||1 episode|
|2013||A Touch of Cloth||Mrs McClusky||1 episode|
|2013–2017||Man Down||Polly Davies||19 episodes|
|2014||Casualty||Gloria Pots||1 episode|
|2022||Not Going Out||Nice lady||1 episode|||
- "Grange Hill actress Gwyneth Powell dies aged 76". The Press. Press Association. 12 September 2022. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
- Sansome, Jessica (12 September 2022). "Grange Hill actress Gwyneth Powell dies aged 76 after surgery complications". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
- "BBC Beds Herts and Bucks – Entertainment – School's out for Gwyneth!". BBC. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
- "Mrs McClusky remembers her school". BBC News. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
- "Grange Hill star Gwyneth Powell, who played headmistress Mrs McClusky, dies after surgery complications". Sky News.
- Media, P. A. (12 September 2022). "Gwyneth Powell, actor who played Grange Hill's headteacher, dies aged 76". the Guardian.
- Adejobi, Alicia (12 September 2022). "Grange Hill actress Gwyneth Powell dies aged 76".
- "Ashes Resurrects Grange Hill – Sky TV". Sky UK. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
- "Why comedy is simply the best form of theatre". Salisbury Journal. salisburyjournal.co.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
- Fear, Helen (12 September 2022). "Grange Hill legend Gwyneth Powell - known for her role as Mrs McClusky - has died at the age of 76". Entertainment Daily.
- "Man Down - Interview with Gwyneth Powell | Channel 4". www.channel4.com.
- "Hurstpierpoint Players". hurstplayers.org.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
- "Grange Hill's Mrs McClusky actress Gwyneth Powell dies aged 76". BBC News. 12 September 2022.
- "Gwyneth Powell". TVGuide.com.
- "Gwyneth Powell : Actress - Films, episodes and roles on digiguide.tv". digiguide.tv.
- "Gwyneth Powell: Movies, TV, and Bio". www.amazon.co.uk.
- "Man Down – Production Details". British Comedy Guide. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- "Not Going Out".