A week ago (29 September 2016), we tweeted news of the death of Ann Emery, BILLY ELLIOT's long-serving Grandma, who passed away at the age 86. We were incredibly moved by how many of you responded, sharing memories of both working with Ann and seeing her perform and how that affected you. We've rounded up some of our favourite tributes here...
We're hugely saddened to hear of the passing of the great Ann Emery, who for decades was one of our very best performers. She'll be missed. pic.twitter.com/C9Ww7oFW6C— StageFaves (@StageFaves) September 29, 2016
Ann, born on 12 March 1930, originated the role of Grandma in the stage musical of BILLY ELLIOT and played it opposite scores of young Billys from 2005 to 2010. After a break from it to appear in Cameron Mackintosh's 2011 musical Betty Blue Eyes, Ann returned to BILLY ELLIOT and stayed with the show until she retired in November 2014. She was also fondly remembered for her screen credits including the BBC children's television programme Rentaghost in the 1970s.
Stephen Daldry, who directed Ann Emery in BILLY ELLIOT, released this statement about the news.
“Her zest for life, professional experience and care for the often very young performers who she worked with was truly exceptional. She will have a special place in all our hearts as an ‘old pro’, who never seemed old and never took the profession for granted.
"She was herself a child of the theatre, whose enthusiasm and joy was always apparent. Her first appearance at the Victoria Palace was in the Crazy Gang in the 1930s. It was also where she gave her last much celebrated performance in BILLY ELLIOT.
"She will be remembered fondly, and today deeply missed. What a treat it was to have known her.”