Steven Moffat has said that Sherlock actress Una Stubbs, who has died at the age of 84, was an “extraordinary” actress who was “the sweetest, kindest, funniest person”.
Speaking to Times Radio, the Sherlock creator recalled he had wanted to hire someone who could “punch through” in the role of Mrs. Hudson. “She owned any scene she was in,” he continued. “You couldn’t take your eyes off her the moment she was there. She was fond of the fact her part in Sherlock was limited screen time, maximum impact.”
He added that him and co-creator Mark Gatiss had written extra scenes for Mrs. Hudson just to get more of Stubbs’ performance in the show, “One episode was coming in short, it was far too short, and all we did was sit and write extra bits for Mrs. Hudson because we loved doing it and no one complained that Mrs. Hudson, who had never anything to do with the main plot, would just wander in and patter on for a while, get the three best gags in the show, and wander off again with an elegant dance move.”
“You kind of forget that she’s a national treasure, because she was she was so sweet. So, so strangely humbled, so gentle, and you sort of know you’re in the presence of a stellar talent because when she turned on the acting, it was extraordinary,” Moffat said.
Also reacting on social media today following the news were Mark Gatiss, Murder On The Blackpool Express co-star Griff Rhys Jones, and Lucy Benjamin, who was on stage with Stubbs in Worzel Gummidge. See below.
It was one of the great joys of my life to work so closely with and to adore Una Stubbs. She was a wonderful, wonderful woman and a great and serenely graceful actor. Mischief was in her blood. We were so blessed that she became our imperishable Mrs Hudson. Goodbye, darling. ❤️
— Mark Gatiss ? (@Markgatiss) August 12, 2021
Devastated to hear our gorgeous Una Stubbs has passed away. Loved working with her on Murder on the Blackpool Express. Genuine and beautiful person inside & out. Thoughts are with her family. G x pic.twitter.com/3WdLjYtXth
— Griff Rhys Jones OBE (@G_RhysJones) August 12, 2021
Such sad news. Had the honour of being in the stage production of Worzel Gummidge with #UnaStubbs in the early 80’s and she taught me so much as a child actor and really showed me the way! What a loss ?
— Lucy Benjamin (@Lucy_Benjamin) August 12, 2021