Georgina Hale: Emmerdale and Hollyoaks actress dies age 80

Fans are devastated to learn that Georgina Hale has sadly passed away aged 80.

Georgina Hale Emmerdale and Hollyoaks actress dies age 80
Georgina Hale Emmerdale and Hollyoaks actress dies age 80

After the sad death of Steve Halliwell, who played Zak Dingle on Emmerdale, yet another actor from the show has passed away.

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Georgina Hale starred in a number of iconic shows over the course of her career, including Emmerdale, Minder and Doctor Who. It is believed that the star passed on 4 January but that her death is only now coming to light. Fans have taken to social media to express their sadness, with one posting on X:

#GeorginaHale was an interesting actress with a unique delivery, ensuring she always brought a touch of eccentricity to the screen. RIP.

Hale didn’t only star in TV shows; she was also successful in the theatre and had a varied career that spanned decades. Here’s everything you need to know about the iconic BAFTA winning actress.

Georgina Hale’s personal life

Hale was born in Ilford, Essex, in 1943. Her parents Elsie and George Robert Hole moved around a lot, running different pubs, and Hale said she grew up overweight and shy.

She revealed to the Glasgow Herald in 2002:

I couldn’t write, spell or read.
There was a real shame in it, and you were the dunce of the class, always getting whacked around the head.

Hale’s young life was punctuated by tragedy: her mother died when she was 18, followed by her father four years later. When she was 19, having never visited the theatre, she was given tickets to go and see West Side Story. The experience, she says, blew her mind.

She went on to work at a hairdresser’s, but when she spotted an actor’s workshop nearby her life changed forever. This led her to train at RADA, and then work with the Royal Shakespeare Company before shifting into film and TV.

Hale married actor John Forgeham in 1964, but they later divorced.

Hale’s career

While establishing herself as a stage actress, Hale also became successful in TV and film. She received a BAFTA film award as most promising newcomer in 1975 for her role in film director Ken Russell's fictionalised musical biopic Mahler (1974). Hale portrayed the wife of the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, played by Robert Powell.

Hale also starred in other noteworthy roles, including parts in soap operas Emmerdale and Hollyoaks. Sadly, she said that it became more complicated to find roles as she got older. In 2002, she said:

Once I reached 51, my life changed. Four years ago, I tried to change my agent, and 11 turned me down. One told me they didn’t take actresses over 45 because it was too depressing to talk to them on the telephone.

During a dry spell in her career, she washed dishes in a restaurant to boost her income from stints on the stage. She was a hardworking career woman her whole life, and fans are heartbroken to hear of her passing.

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Sources used:

Mirror: Bafta winning Emmerdale and Hollyoaks actress Georgina Hale dies as fans pay tribute

The Sun: ACTRESS DIES Georgina Hale dead aged 80: Emmerdale & Hollyoaks actress dies after TV and theatre career spanning 50 years

UK celebrities who have died in 2023 from Paul O'Grady to George Alagiah UK celebrities who have died in 2023 from Paul O'Grady to George Alagiah