Actors and actresses have odd high points in their careers. Sometimes the most unusual roles or cameos attract the greatest public acclaim.
So it was for double Oscar-winning actress Glenda Jackson, who made her name at the Royal Shakespeare Company after learning her craft at the Townswomen’s Guild drama group in West Kirby.
It wasn’t her 1969 Oscar performance as Gudrun in Women in Love that especially endeared her to the nation. Neither was it her Emmy-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in the ground-breaking TV series Elizabeth R.
The roles everyone remembers with real fondness and humour were played on a very different platform altogether – the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show!
Jackson appeared in a string of Eric and Ernie’s ‘classic’ dramas in the early 1970s. In 1971 she played Cleopatra delivering the incomparable line: ‘All men are fools and what makes them so is having beauty like what I have got.’
A year later, she played Queen Victoria to Eric Morecambe’s Benjamin Disraeli, complete with kiss curl. Scriptwriter Ernie Wise was Prince Albert.
In another sketch she literally hit the heights when she was lifted 10 feet in the air by an errant swivel chair!
Jackson probably never imagined her acting career would lead to such a pinnacle when she was a pupil at West Kirby Grammar School for Girls and later a student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Our image of her as Queen Elizabeth alongside Vanessa Redgrave in the 1971 movie Mary Queen of Scots was probably more the kind of role she would have envisaged.
A profoundly more comic version of Elizabeth I was played by Southport actress Miranda Richardson in the superb Blackadder II series of 1986.
With her trusted ‘nursey’ by her side, she dispensed regal menace and girlish humour in equal measure to Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) and his servant Baldrick (Tony Robinson).
Richardson also starred as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, in the 1985 biographical film Dance with a Stranger.
Her comic roles include playing interior decorator Bettina with Jennifer Saunders in the BBC TV sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.
Actress Patricia Routledge, born in Birkenhead, appeared in the movies To Sir, with Love in 1967 and Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River in 1968.
After making her stage debut at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1952, she went on to win the 1968 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Alice Challice in the play Darling of the Day.
She also won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Candide in 1968.
But Routledge is probably best known for playing the pretentious, yet lovable, Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet!) in the BBC TV sitcom Keeping Up Appearances from 1990 to 1995.
Aspirations of a different kind surfaced earlier in her career when she formed part of an actors’ consortium that bought a share of the show Little Mary Sunshine for £300 in 1962. Our photo shows her handing over the cheque to Comedy Theatre manager Warren Tate.
Other Liverpool actresses that made it into the movies include the irrepressible Margi Clarke, who starred in Letter to Brezhnev in 1985, and Rita Tushingham, who shot to prominence in Shelagh Delaney’s gritty film A Taste of Honey in 1961.
Tushingham, who grew up in the Hunt’s Cross area where her father ran three grocery shops, also appeared in Doctor Zhivago in 1965, The Trap (1966) and The Bed Sitting Room (1969).
Finally, no list of Merseyside movie actresses could be complete without Mossley Hall superstar Kim Cattrall, who found international fame as Samantha Jones in the US hit show Sex in the City.
As well as making two Sex in the City films, Cattrall has played lead roles in Big Trouble in Little China in 1986, Mannequin (1987), Midnight Crossing (1988) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
Like Glenda Jackson, Cattrall has also sportingly appeared in comedy skits. She played the Countess of Grantham in the 2011 Red Nose Day special Upstairs Downstairs Abbey!