United Kingdom

Betty Driver

Betty Driver

(1920 – 2011)

  • You tirelessly entertained the nation for a lifetime, now it's time rest in peace.
    Lit by Anonymous
United Kingdom

Betty Driver

Betty Driver
(1920 – 2011)

In memory of

Betty Driver

(1920 – 2011)
Proudly supporting
About Betty
This is a tribute to Betty Driver. Elizabeth Mary Driver MBE was an English singer, actress and author, best known for her role as Betty Williams on Coronation Street. She appeared in more than 2,800 episodes of the British soap opera. She also appeared in Pardon the Expression.
Betty Driver was born to Frederick and Nellie Driver in 1920 at the Prebend Nursing Home, Leicester. Her father fought in the trenches during the First World War and later became a policeman. However, it is her mother whom Betty Driver has described as "the driving force" in her life. Betty Driver has commented, "the only way I can explain her behaviour is that she wanted to live out her ambitions through me."
The Driver family
Continued...
About Betty
moved to West Didsbury, Manchester in 1922, where they resided in a semi-detached house alongside other police families. Betty Driver went to school at Wilbraham Road and was later joined there by her younger sister Freda, who shared a class with a young Pat Phoenix, who would go on to star as Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street.
When she was 7, the Drivers went to see a production called the Quaintesques, a group of men dressed as women, when the star, Billy Manders, asked the audience to join in with a chorus. Betty Driver's singing stood out so much that Manders asked her to come forward and sing with him. From then on, Betty's mother began taking her to various talent contests in Manchester, and she won
Continued overleaf...
About Betty
them all. She has commented, "I imitated hits by Gracie Fields such as 'Sing As We Go', and 'The Biggest Aspidistra In the World', corny little numbers that I detested but mother adored.
At the age of 8, Betty Driver began performing professionally, forced by her mother to appear with Terence Byron Repertory Theatre Company. She was singing for the BBC by the age of 10 and began touring across the UK in her first revue at the age of 12. Whilst performing in London at the age of 14, Betty Driver was spotted by the agent Bert Aza, who was in partnership with his brother Archie Pitt, Gracie Fields's husband. Despite her young age, he booked her for the lead in a revival of Mr Tower Of London, which had brought
Continued...
About Betty
Gracie Fields to prominence 19 years earlier.
At 16 she was in a West End show called Home and Beauty. Film director Basil Dean, after seeing her in Jimmy Hunter's Brighton Follies, cast her in the 1938 film Penny Paradise, filmed at ATP studios in Ealing. After a few months of variety and radio work, she returned to the studio to make her second film, Let's Be Famous. They had just completed the film when the Second World War was announced and the studios were closed down. 19 at the time, Betty Driver resumed touring the country in variety shows. It was at this time that her act and image altered. Against her mother's wishes, Betty Driver and her sister modernised her performance and Betty became a ballad
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About Betty
singer.
In the 1940s, she became a noted big band singer. During the Second World War, Betty Driver travelled through Europe with ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association), entertaining the troops. She also appeared for seven years on the radio show Henry Hall's Guest Night and on her own show, A Date with Betty. The show's format was based around Betty Driver singing, doing sketches and introducing guests. All her words were scripted by a young Bob Monkhouse. She recorded many popular tunes in the 1940s and became an established singer during this time. Betty travelled to Australia where she performed her own show and her career took her to Cyprus, Malta and the Middle East. On her return to England
Continued...
About Betty
she appeared in various Ealing Comedies, on stage in The Lovebirds, Pillar to Post and What A Racket, and on television with James Bolam in Love on the Dole.
In 1964, she auditioned for the role of Hilda Ogden on the television series Coronation Street (the role went to actress Jean Alexander as the casting directors wanted someone who did not weigh as much). She was cast later in the series Pardon the Expression, a spin-off of Coronation Street alongside Arthur Lowe.
In 1969, she was persuaded to come out of retirement to play police officer's wife Betty Turpin on Coronation Street, a role she would play for over 40 years. She was the longest serving barmaid in the history of the Rover's Return and Betty's
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About Betty
Hot Pot (served at lunchtime in the Rovers) is an iconic dish, which has also been offered as a ready meal in UK supermarkets.
She was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II on the Millennium New Year's Honours List on 31 December 1999.
In May 2010 Betty Driver was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards.
Betty Driver passed away on the 15th October 2011. She spent her life entertaining the nation and this tribute has been created in recognition of that fact. May she rest in peace.
Remembrance Messages
On 8th Mar 2014
Brad
wrote:
still miss you Betty, always in my thoughts
Remembrance Messages
On 8th Mar 2014
Brad
wrote:
Still miss you Betty, never far from my thoughts
Remembrance Messages
On 17th Oct 2011
Rose Clearwater
wrote:
R.I.P. Betty from your New Zealand fans. Thank you for your many years of entertainment.
Please write something below
(You can delete your comment at any time and edit it for 15 minutes after submission)
Kindly lit by
Anonymous
on 4th Jul 2015
They wrote:
You tirelessly entertained the nation for a lifetime, now it's time rest in peace.
Gold tribute.

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Betty Driver - tribute extract

Betty Driver

This is a tribute to Betty Driver. Elizabeth Mary Driver MBE was an English singer, actress and author, best known for her role as Betty Williams on Coronation Street. She appeared in more than 2,800 episodes of the British soap opera. She also appeared in Pardon the Expression.
Betty Driver was born to Frederick and Nellie Driver in 1920 at the Prebend Nursing Home, Leicester. Her father fought in the trenches during the First World War and later became a policeman. However, it is her mother whom Betty Driver has described as "the driving force" in her life. Betty Driver has commented, "the only way I can explain her behaviour is that she wanted to live out her ambitions through me."
The Driver family...

Betty Driver is remembered by...
Brad
Rose Clearwater
X
X
X
X
(You can edit your entry for 15 minutes after submission and can delete your entry at any time)
Rest in peace Betty
I first met Betty at ****
My sincere condolences to all friends and family of Betty
My fondest memory of Betty was ****
Betty used to really enjoy ****
What I will miss the most about Betty is ****
Betty inspired me to ****
Betty changed my life by ****
If I had to sum up what Betty meant to me it would be ****
X