|Born||14th September 1927|
|Died||22nd September 1986 (aged 59)|
|First appearance||The Man and the Hour|
|Last appearance||Never Too Old|
|Series||1 - 4 and 6 - 9|
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life and career[edit | edit source]
Janet Davies was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. When her father died in his early thirties, she had to get her education at a boarding school. She soon started following in her late father's footsteps to train as a solicitor, but later left and qualified as a shorthand typist instead.
Janet later spent two years at the BBC as a secretary, assigned to programmes like Dick Barton and Special Agent.
Early acting career[edit | edit source]
In 1948, Janet Davies start working for various repertory companies; she peformed for various companies in Leatherhead, Watford, Shrewsbury, Bedford and Northampton. This later got her into working on various television programmes by 1960. He appeared in programmes such as Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars.
Dad's Army[edit | edit source]
Janet Davies always kept herself busy throughout her career as a jobbing actress, but she will always be best remembered for playing Mrs. Mavis Pike in the television series of Dad's Army. David Croft, the co-creater, producer and director of Dad's Army (whose wife, Ann Callender, was Janet's agent) said that she had "hastened to suggest herself for the part. After all, being in the office where the script first saw the light of day, she knew the requirements well." Janet went to see David in order to read for the part as to him, she seemed to be just the right age and type to play the role. She appeared as Mrs. Pike in thirty episodes throughout every season of the television series, except for the fifth season as the character was not written into any episode that year. She always appeared as Mrs. Pike in the Dad's Army stage show, but only for the venues at Billingham and London's West End. When the show went on tour, Bernice Adams took Janet's place.
Jimmy Perry had hoped to have Janet play Mrs. Pike for the Dad's Army movie of 1971 too, but the film's director, Norman Cohen replaced her with Liz Fraser, which Janet, Jimmy and the majority of the other original television series cast members were far from pleased about. Norman wanted a more attractive and less 'homely' actress for the role, but Jimmy argued that this was a big mistake as to him the viewing public would more likely recognise Janet than anyone else as Mrs. Pike.
Janet also did not play Mrs. Pike in the radio series of Dad's Army; the part was given to Pearl Hackney.
Other acting work and later career[edit | edit source]
Janet also appeared in one episode of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin alongside John Barron. She appeared in one episode David Croft's other sitcom, Are You Being Served? and in two episodes of Last of the Summer Wine along with her best friend Kathy Staff who is best known for playing Nora Batty.
Final years and death[edit | edit source]
In Bromley, Kent, September 22nd, 1986, Janet Davies died of breast cancer which had metastasized to her lungs and which the doctors had not diagnosed. She was aged just 59.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
When she was not acting, Janet continued her typing and short hand training by working for various theatrical agencies.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- She is the only recurring cast member who has not appeared on location during the filming of the series.