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British Actress Mary Millar Dies

November 11, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ Actress Mary Millar, a British television star and veteran of the London musical stage, has died after a long battle with cancer. She was 62.

She died Tuesday at her home in southeast London, her husband, Rafael, said Wednesday.

In the 1990s, Millar was known to millions of British television viewers as Rose in the BBC comedy series ``Keeping up Appearances.″

Her musical talents had also led to a long and successful career on the London stage, appearing in ``The Phantom of the Opera″ as the original Madame Giry.

Her illness had forced her to withdraw in recent months from Disney’s ``Beauty and the Beast,″ in which she played Mrs. Potts, the teapot, and sang the show’s love theme.

On the nonmusical stage, Millar won acclaim as Judi Dench’s replacement in 1984 in the hit drama, ``Pack of Lies.″

Her first television success, in a show called ``Those Were the Days,″ came when she was 17.

She went on to work on stage and television, and also was understudy for Julie Andrews in the Broadway production of ``Camelot″ in the 1960s.

Millar was the second actress to play the flashy, man-chasing Rose in ``Keeping Up Appearances.″ She won the role, which called for thigh-skimming skirts, when she was in her 50s.

``I bought a mini-skirt for the audition and sat on the Tube (subway) feeling the biggest fool, but I got the job,″ she once said.

Millar is survived by her husband of 36 years and their daughter, Lucy, 26. Funeral plans were not announced.

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