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Last of the Summer Wine star Juliette Kaplan dies aged 80 after cancer battle

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Last of the Summer Wine star Juliette Kaplan dies aged 80 after cancer battle

  • Kaplan played the sharp-tongued Pearl Sibshaw for 226 episodes of the sitcom
  • It comes after her agent revealed in July that the actress was ‘gravely ill’
  • She would thwart her on-screen husband Howard’s attempts to have an affair 
Juliette Kaplan, who played sharp-tongued Pearl Sibshaw in Last of the Summer Wine, has died of cancer at the age of 80

Juliette Kaplan, who played sharp-tongued Pearl Sibshaw in Last of the Summer Wine, has died of cancer at the age of 80

Juliette Kaplan, who played sharp-tongued Pearl Sibshaw in Last of the Summer Wine, has died of cancer at the age of 80

Actress Juliette Kaplan, who played sharp-tongued Pearl Sibshaw in Last of the Summer Wine, has died of cancer at the age of 80.

She appeared as the domineering wife in 226 episodes of the much-loved BBC sitcom from 1985 until the final series in 2010.

Last night her agent Barry Langford thanked ‘everyone who sent their love and support to this fearless and supremely gifted actress’.

He said: ‘Juliette Kaplan, “Our Pearl”, has finally succumbed to the cancer she has bravely battled for so long… As she said, “Ta-ta and it’s been fun”.’

It comes after the agent revealed in July that the actress was ‘gravely ill’, describing her as a ‘very brave lady’. 

Miss Kaplan entertained audiences in the long-running comedy with her portrayal of Pearl, who would often thwart her on-screen husband Howard’s attempts to have an affair.

She terrified Howard, played by Robert Fyfe, uncovering his flimsy lies and his outlandish schemes as he terrorised the Yorkshire Dales with pals Compo and Clegg.

She terrified Howard, played by Robert Fyfe (left), uncovering his flimsy lies and his outlandish schemes as he terrorised the Yorkshire Dales

She terrified Howard, played by Robert Fyfe (left), uncovering his flimsy lies and his outlandish schemes as he terrorised the Yorkshire Dales

She terrified Howard, played by Robert Fyfe (left), uncovering his flimsy lies and his outlandish schemes as he terrorised the Yorkshire Dales

In July, Kaplan's agent said that the actress was 'gravely ill', describing her as a 'very brave lady'

In July, Kaplan's agent said that the actress was 'gravely ill', describing her as a 'very brave lady'

In July, Kaplan’s agent said that the actress was ‘gravely ill’, describing her as a ‘very brave lady’ 

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Miss Kaplan, christened Marlene, was born in Bournemouth on October 2, 1939, but moved around as a child because of her South African father’s job as a naval officer.

Thanks to her upbringing – she also lived in South Africa and New York – she had a distinct accent, which she claimed her mother sought to rectify by sending her to drama school for elocution lessons. There, she caught the acting bug – and decided to pursue a career in theatre.

Along with Last of the Summer Wine, Miss Kaplan appeared in Coronation Street, EastEnders and Brookside.

Miss Kaplan entertained audiences in the long-running comedy with her portrayal of Pearl (left)

Miss Kaplan, christened Marlene, was born in Bournemouth on October 2, 1939, but moved around as a child because of her South African father's job as a naval officer

Miss Kaplan, christened Marlene, was born in Bournemouth on October 2, 1939, but moved around as a child because of her South African father's job as a naval officer

Miss Kaplan, christened Marlene, was born in Bournemouth on October 2, 1939, but moved around as a child because of her South African father’s job as a naval officer

She married Harold Hoser in 1958 and had three children before her husband’s death in 1981 – when she was just 42.

As well as bringing Pearl to life, Miss Kaplan was also behind her character’s distinctive costume, complete with wig and glasses. 

‘They actually gave me a wig from stock and it used to flap at the back,’ she once said. ‘So every time the wind blew, my wig came off! So it was my idea to anchor it with either a turban or a beret.’

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