- Attended Old Vic Drama School.
- Was married to actor John Garley until his death in 1957.
- Had a 45-year marriage to Robert Arnold, who was also the father of her five children.
- Is known for her role as Dot Cotton in the soap series EastEnders.
- Was awarded an MBE (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for her services to drama in 2008.
- Had a minor role in the Mr. Bean movie Bean (1997).