Obituary: Liz Smith
Royle Family's Nana, struggled for years to make acting her sole career, only hitting the big time in her 70s
Liz Smith, who died on Christmas Eve aged 95, endured years of rejection before she eventually acquired "national treasure" status on television as Letitia Cropley, the compulsive maker of inedible cakes in The Vicar of Dibley, and as Nana, the dotty granny in The Royle Family.
With her pinched, melancholy clown's face, look of innocent surprise and shrieking cackle, Liz Smith cornered the market in batty old women - "nutty creatures in eccentric outfits", as she called them.
Her genius was to give the grotesques she played a measure of her own quirky and generous nature.