Maggie Jones plays Blanche Hunt
Margaret "Maggie" Jones (21 June 1934 - 2 December 2009) played
Blanche Hunt on Coronation Street, a role which she first portrayed
in 1974 and played regularly from the late 1990s until shortly
before her death.
Maggie graduated from the drama school RADA and performed in numerous plays, including Pride and Prejudice and The Women on the West End stage.
Maggie's first major television role was in the BBC's adaptation of The Forsyte Saga. She played a maid called Smither, a small but recurring part.
Maggie had two one-off guest spots on Coronation Street, first as a policewoman and then as a shoplifter, but in 1974 she debuted as Blanche Hunt, the mother of Deirdre.
The part had originally been played by Patricia Cutts, who committed suicide after appearing in only two episodes. Maggie, who had previously auditioned for the role, accepted the offer to take over the role at short notice, as storylines had already been written for Blanche.
Maggie remained a regular cast member until 1976. She re-appeared in the show briefly when Blanche's grandchild Tracy was born in 1977, when Deirdre's marriage to Ray Langton collapsed in 1978 and when Deirdre married Ken Barlow in 1981.
Throughout the 1980s Maggie was a regular face on British
television, and guest-starred on shows such as Dalziel and Pascoe,
Goodnight Sweetheart, Heartbeat and Peak Practice in the
Maggie then reprised the role of Blanche Hunt in Coronation Street in 1996.
Maggie's character Blanche was written out of the show when Maggie fell ill in October 2009. She was reported to be making a slow but steady recovery, but she suddenly deteriorated and died on 2 December 2009.
Maggie's funeral was held at St Peter's Catholic church in Clerkenwell, London on 15 December 2009.
First appearance on Coronation Street in the UK (as Blanche):
19 August 1974: Deirdre Hunt introduced her mother Blanche to Billy Walker, when he gave her a lift home from the Rovers.