On stage from 1951 and in films from 1952, British actress Prunella Scales blossomed as a character actress in the mid-1960s. As was the case with many English performers, Scales' tastes veered towards the Classics on stage (the character of Cherry in The Beaux' Stratagem was a particular favorite), while she tended to take whatever came along in films and on television. Her movie credits encompass such efforts as Hobson's Choice (1954), The Boys From Brazil (1978), Howard's End (1992), and, more recently, An Awfully Big Adventure (1995). TV fans the world over know Prunella as Sybil Fawlty, sharp-tongued wife of hotelier John Cleese, in the brief but memorable British sitcom Fawlty Towers. Prunella Scales is the wife of stage and film actor Timothy West, and the mother of actors Sam and Joseph West.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Best known for her role in Fawlty Towers.
- Became the assistant stage manager of the Old Vic Theatre in London in 1951 before acting.
- Has appeared in Radio 4 sitcoms including After Henry, Smelling of Roses and Ladies of Letters.
- Appeared in Tesco adverts throughout the 90s.
- Appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1992 Birthday Honours List.
- Published her biography "Prunella" in 2005.
- Is an ambassador of SOS Children's Villages charity.