Janet Brown


Janet McLuckie Brown (14 December 1923 – 27 May 2011) was a Scottish actress, comedian, and impressionist who gained considerable fame in the 1970s and 1980s for her impersonations of Margaret Thatcher.

Brown was born in Rutherglen and educated at Rutherglen Academy. Early in her career, she presented Picture Book on BBC Television in the 1950s. Beginning with Margaret Thatcher's election as the leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, Brown gained increasing prominence because of her realistic impression of the Tory politician. She performed as Thatcher on BBC TV's Mike Yarwood Show, on BBC Radio's The News Huddlines, and on film in the 1981 James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only.

In 1979, Brown starred as Thatcher on the comedy album Iron Lady: The Coming Of The Leader, written by Private Eye satirist John Wells and produced by Secret Policeman's Ball series co-creator/producer Martin Lewis and Not the Nine O'Clock News series co-creator/producer John Lloyd. The largely spoken 'song' 'Iron Lady' was released as a single and she promoted it on Top Of The Tops as a new release but it did not chart.

During the 1970s and 1980s, she was occasionally confused by some with fellow actress and comedian Faith Brown because they had the same surname and were both best remembered for their Margaret Thatcher impersonations. In 1990, she recorded a spoken word sequence in her Margaret Thatcher voice for Mike Oldfield's album Amarok. Still acting in her 80s, her last role was as Old Lady Squeamish on the London West End stage in a production of Wycherley's The Country Wife at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, which opened in September 2007.

She entitled her 1986 autobiography Prime Mimicker.

Brown was married to Carry On actor Peter Butterworth from 1947 until his death in 1979. They had two children, a son, actor Tyler Butterworth, and a daughter Emma, who died in 1996, aged 34. Brown never remarried, spending the rest of her life in Hove, East Sussex, until her death following a brief illness in a nursing home in May 2011, aged 87. She is buried alongside her husband Peter Butterworth in Danehill Cemetery, in East Sussex.


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