Ruth Madoc (born 16 April 1943 in Norwich, Norfolk, England, brought up in Llansamlet in south Wales) is a Welsh actress and singer. She is probably most famous for her role as Gladys Pugh in the 1980s BBC television comedy Hi-de-Hi!, although appearances as Daffyd Thomas’s mother in the second series of Little Britain have helped to maintain her profile much more recently.
Born Ruth Llewellyn to parents who traveled around Britain for much of her childhood, she was brought up by her grandmother in Llansamlet near Swansea. She attended RADA and then worked in The Black and White Minstrel Show. Her first husband was the actor, Philip Madoc. They had a son, Rhys, and a daughter, Lowri, but eventually divorced.
Ruth Madoc played Fruma Sarah in the film version of the musical Fiddler on the Roof, and appeared as Mrs Dai Bread Two in the 1972 film of Under Milk Wood. She also appeared regularly on BBC Wales in the entertainment programme Poems and Pints.
She is an experienced theatre actress who has appeared in many productions including the stage version of Under Milk Wood, Steel Magnolias, Agatha Christie thrillers (And Then There Were None…), the musical Annie and many pantomime parts.
In contrast with her stage career, many of her most high-profile television parts have been Welsh characters: in addition to Little Britain and Hi De Hi, she has also appeared in the Swansea-set Mine, All Mine. In 2002, she and her husband bought a home in Glynneath. In 2004 she appeared in the reality television programme [email protected] on S4C in which celebrities went on an intensive Welsh language course.
She has also appeared in the LivingTV reality show, I’m Famous and Frightened! which she went on to win. She was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Wales, Swansea in July 2006.
She also appeared in “Annie” as the infamous “Miss Hannigan” in Belfast’s Royal Opera House (June 2007) and Dublin’s Olympia Theatre (July 2007).